Actor Ke Huy Quan’s Oscar Nomination Is Heartwarming Proof That It’s Never Too Late

Ke Huy Quan Oscar Nomination

Ke Huy Quan at the 50th Saturn Awards in 2022. (Photo: Jean_Nelson/Depositphotos)

It can sometimes feel like you’ve missed your chance with your career. With actors, this particular feeling can be acute. Will the role they just played be their last? Actor Ke Huy Quan quit acting for decades after being a child star in iconic films including The Goonies and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. (This was an unintended break as there was a dearth of roles for Asian actors.) It wasn't until he went out for his first audition in many years that he landed the role of Waymond Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once. The critically acclaimed film just earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

The spectacular return to acting came after Quan saw Crazy Rich Asians in 2018 and began considering if he should get back into it. Two weeks after contacting an agent friend to represent him, he went to the fateful Everything Everywhere All at Once audition. Now, he’s part of a film that picked up 11 Oscar nominations—the most this season.

“When I heard my name announced, I jumped and I screamed so loud,” he said in an interview upon hearing the news. “For so many years, I’ve always loved watching the Oscars. Every year, I would imagine what it’s like to walk down the red carpet, to be in that room, to get nominated. It’s a dream that only existed in my imagination for the longest time. When I had to step away, that dream dissipated. It was so far away that I didn’t think one day it would make its way back. And it did.”

Quan hopes that his story inspires people to be patient and continue to pursue their dreams. It’s not too late. “Ever since our movie came out, so many people have come up to me and said, ‘Ke we love seeing you back on the screen. You inspired us. You made us think that if this is possible, it can also be possible for us.’ And that is just so beautiful.” He continues, “One day it will happen for them, just as it did for me.”

The 2023 Oscar nominations mark a record-setting year for Asian actors; it’s the most members of the AAPI community that have ever been nominated in a single year. Quan’s costars Michelle Yeoh and Stephanie Hsu are also nominated alongside The Whale actor Hong Chau.

After quitting acting for decades, actor Ke Huy Quan earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Everything Everywhere All at Once.


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h/t: [The New York Times]

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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