Ke Huy Quan Inspires People to “Keep Your Dreams Alive” With His Oscar Win for Best Supporting Actor

After a very successful award season, actor Ke Huy Quan has won the biggest trophy of them all—the Oscar. His work in the movie Everything Everywhere All at Once earned him the coveted Academy Award for Best Actor. On top of being recognized for his role as Waymond Wang, Quan has also won the hearts of the public for his moving acceptance speeches at award ceremonies, and his words on the Oscar's stage was no exception.

The moment was deeply emotional even before Quan took the stage, as presenter Ariana DeBose's voice broke when she opened the envelope and read the actor's name aloud. He received the award from DeBose and actor Troy Kotsur, who won the same award last year. “My mom is 84 years old, and she’s at home watching,” Quan began his speech as he openly cried. “Mom, I just won an Oscar!”

The actor went on to explain what it had taken him and his family to get there. “My journey started on a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp and somehow I ended up here on Hollywood's biggest stage.” Born in Vietnam, Quan and his family fled the Vietnam War when he was just 8 years old. He spent time in a refugee camp in Hong Kong with his father and five of his siblings, before being reunited with his mom and the rest of his family and immigrating to the U.S. in 1979. “They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I cannot believe it's happening to me,” Quan continued. “This—this—is the American dream!”

He thanked his mom for the sacrifices she made to get him there, and his wife, Echo, who supported him throughout all these years. “I owe everything to the love of my life, my wife Echo, who month after month, year after year for 20 years told me that one day, my time will come,” he said.

Quan made his debut on the silver screen at age 12 alongside Harrison Ford in Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. In 1985, he co-starred in the adventure-comedy film The Goonies as Richard “Data” Wang. After that, he couldn't land a job in an equally successful production, eventually moving to behind-the-scenes work and almost giving up on acting altogether.

Motivated by his wife, he decided to try it one last time, which led him to audition for his now-Oscar-winning role on Everything Everywhere All at Once. Now, he is slated to appear on the second season of Loki later this year, as well as having joined the star-studded cast of The Electric State, a sci-fi film by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, who directed Avengers: Endgame (2019).

“Dreams are something you have to believe in. I almost gave up on mine,” he said. Quan then spoke directly to the camera and exclaimed: “To all of you out there, please keep your dreams alive. Thank you so much for welcoming me back. I love you.”

Actor Ke Huy Quan won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his work on Everything Everywhere All at Once and delivered a moving speech.


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Una publicación compartida por Variety (@variety)

“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.”


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Una publicación compartida por Letterboxd (@letterboxd)

Watch the trailer for Everything Everywhere All at Once, starring Quan as Waymond Wang:

Ke Huy Quan: Instagram
h/t: [People]

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Regina Sienra

Regina Sienra is a Staff Writer at My Modern Met. Based in Mexico City, Mexico, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications with specialization in Journalism from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She has 10+ years’ experience in Digital Media, writing for outlets in both English and Spanish. Her love for the creative arts—especially music and film—drives her forward every day.
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