Ke Huy Quan just may have the most inspirational story of any 2022 Oscar nominee. After starting out with significant roles in two ’80s classics — as Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Data in The Goonies — his acting career came to a screeching halt. And although he never left the business, he found work instead behind the camera in various capacities until a stroke of luck involving 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang inadvertently changed his life without him ever knowing it.
That priceless story is how we start our conversation for this week’s edition of my Deadline video series The Actor’s Side.
Quan co-stars as Waymond Wang in the Cinderella story of this year’s Oscars Everything Everywhere All at Once, which has been nominated for a leading 11 Academy Awards including one for Quan as Best Supporting Actor. He has already won a Golden Globe, a Critics Choice Award, numerous other critics awards including the NYFCC, LAFCA, National Society off Film Critics, and he also has two SAG nominations and is up for a BAFTA.
All of this is for a major role that marked his return to acting — one that he kept secret from his family (except for his wife and lawyer) until the day before the trailer for the movie was going to drop. His reason? He thought he might get fired in the first week and so decided to keep it quiet until he knew he couldn’t anymore. Fortunately he was completely wrong, and the proof is on the screen.
Quan’s story is remarkable, a textbook example of never giving up the dream, and now he is living it.
To watch our conversation, click on the video above.
Join me every Wednesday during Oscar season for another episode of The Actor’s Side.
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