Ke Huy Quan Wins Oscar for Best Supporting Actor
After going 20 years without an acting job in Hollywood, Ke Huy Quan just won Best Supporting Actor at the 95th Academy Awards for his role as Waymond Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once.
“My journey started on a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp,” Quan said in his tearful acceptance speech. “Somehow, I ended up here on Hollywood’s biggest stage. They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I cannot believe it’s happening to me. This is the American dream.”
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Born in Saigon, South Vietnam during the Vietnam War, Quan emigrated with his family to the United States as refugees. A few years after arriving in the U.S., Quan became a child actor and starred as Short Round alongside Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. This was his first time working with Steven Spielberg, who he’d go on to work with again in The Goonies where he starred as Richard “Data Wang.” Quan starred in a number of small and supporting roles as a young actor, and even starred opposite fellow Oscar nominee Brendan Fraser in Encino Man in 1992.
Despite his success in his youth, Quan struggled to find jobs when he became an adult and eventually quit acting—temporarily—to pursue an education and career behind-the-scenes as a stunt choreographer. Ironically enough, it was Michelle Yeoh’s 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians that inspired Quan to take a second shot at acting after seeing Asians find a space on the big screen. Quan later auditioned for Everything Everywhere All at Once, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Directed by the Daniels—Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert—Everything Everywhere All at Once has received massive critical acclaim since it premiered in March 2022, and is currently leading the 95th Academy Awards with 11 nominations. Quan won the first Oscar of the night for Everything Everywhere All At Once.
Prior to his Oscar win, Quan won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and became the first Asian actor to win a Screen Actors Guild Award for a supporting role. Quan is currently only the second Asian actor to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. The last time an Asian actor won Best Supporting Actor was in 1984 when Haing S. Ngor, a Cambodian-American actor, won for his role as Dith Oran in The Killing Fields.