‘Thank You for Welcoming Me Back’: Ke Huy Quan Caps Off Epic Comeback With Emotional Oscar Win
Ke Huy Quan fought back tears and embraced the euphoria as he accepted the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his turn in Everything Everywhere All at Once on Sunday.
Quan began his speech in the most classic way, speaking directly to his mother: “My mom is 84 years old, and she’s at home watching,” he said. “Mom, I just won an Oscar!”
Quan went on to speak about his remarkable journey to acting in the first place, noting the year he spent in a refugee camp after his family fled Vietnam in 1978. “Somehow, I ended up here on Hollywood’s biggest stage. They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I cannot believe it is happening to me. This — this — is the American dream!”
During his thank yous, Quan shared a special shout out for his onetime Goonies co-star, Jeff Cohen, who’s now his entertainment lawyer, as well as his wife, Echo, saying “Month after month, year after year, for 20 years, told me that one day my time will come.”
Quan wrapped his speech by saying, “Dreams are something you have to believe in, I almost gave up on mine. To all of you out there, please keep your dreams alive. Thank you so much for welcoming me back — I love you!”
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The win capped off a remarkable Hollywood comeback for Quan, who hadn’t acted professionally for nearly 20 years. As a child actor, Quan had memorable roles in a pair of 80s classics, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and The Goonies, but struggled to find work as he grew older, with roles for Asian American actors being especially rare. He spent several years working behind the camera, doing fight choreography on X-Men, and serving as Wong Kar-wai’s assistant director in 2046.
After that 20-year hiatus, however, Quan was inspired to give acting another shot and was soon cast in Everything Everywhere. Histurn as Waymond — the gentle, loving, multi-verse hopping husband of Michelle Yeoh’s Evelyn — has earned rave reviews and an array of awards. Prior to winning his Oscar, he picked up a Golden Globe and became the first Asian man to win a film acting prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
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