It's been an unprecedented year for Ke Huy Quan. After a 20-year hiatus from acting due to a lack of roles for Asian actors, he made a fateful decision to audition for the film Everything Everywhere All at Once. While this choice secured him the role of Waymond Wang, it was his stellar performance that ultimately made him a frontrunner in this year's award season. Recently, he made SAG history by being the first male Asian actor to win Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.
Quan began his acting career as a child star in The Goonies and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, but it was not until he read the script for Everything Everywhere All at Once that he thought he found the role he was destined to play. It was his first acting audition after spending two decades working behind the camera. “When I read the script for the first time, I was overwhelmed with emotion, because it was a script that I wanted to read for many, many years,” Quan says. “It was a role that I thought was written for me, and I was just so excited.”
Everything Everywhere All at Once has already picked up 11 Oscar nominations, which has helped make 2023 a record-setting year for Asian actors with the most AAPI community nominations ever made in a single year. Quan has been adding to this historic run by taking home Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor at the 2023 SAG Awards. “This is a really emotional moment for me,” Quan says in his speech. “Recently, I was told that if I were to win tonight, I would become the very first Asian actor to win in this category. When I heard this, I quickly realized that this moment no longer belongs to just me, it belongs to everyone who has asked for change.”
Michelle Yeoh and other cast members from the film looked on as Quan continued his heartfelt delivery. “When I stepped away from acting, it was because there were so few acting opportunities,” he explained. “The landscape looks so different now than before. So thank you so much to everyone in this room and everyone who contributed to these changes and thank you so much to SAG-AFTRA for this truly, truly prestigious honor.” Quan singles out Yeoh in particular, because they started out their careers at the same time in 1984, and at long last, they were able to unite on the big screen.
Hopefully, this remarkable win will precede more well-deserved recognition at this year's Oscars, where Quan is nominated in the best supporting actor category alongside the sci-fi film's 10 other nominations.
Actor Ke Huy Quan won the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role for his work in Everything Everywhere All at Once, making him the first Asian male winner in the category in SAG history.
He is also nominated for the best supporting actor category at this year's Oscars, alongside 10 other nominations for the sci-fi film.
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