Academy Awards 2023: Ke Huy Quan Wins Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’

Los Angeles — Ke Huy Quan mostly disappeared from Hollywood for over two decades, due to the lack of on-camera work for Asian Americans. He returned in a big way, winning a supporting actor Oscar to cap off an inspiring comeback story.

Kwan received the trophy Sunday night for his role in “Everything everywhere at once,” becoming the second-ever Asian winner in the supporting cast category, joining Haing S. Ngor in “The Killing Fields” in 1984.

As his name was announced, Quan stepped up and hugged co-stars Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis, who, after him, won supporting actress. He clasped his hands over his mouth.

“My mom is 84 and she’s home watching,” Kwan said. “Mom, you just won an Oscar!”

Watch: Ke Huy Quan shares his joy in his journey to be at the Oscars

An emotional Chuan repeatedly kissed his statue and sniffed into the microphone on stage after receiving a standing ovation. Presenter Ariana DeBose was crying.

“I started out on a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp, and somehow I ended up here on the biggest stage in Hollywood,” he said. “They say stories like this only happen in movies. I can’t believe this is happening to me. This is the American Dream.”

Quan has ridden a massive wave of momentum at the Academy Awards, having won every major award except the BAFTA. Kwan was as likable during his acceptance speeches as he was in his winning performance. He has used his position to encourage other struggling actors so that they can one day find success.

Along the award show route, the much-loved Quan has put together a photo album for the ages as he snaps selfies with everyone from Tom Cruise to directors James Cameron and Steven Spielberg. It seems like any celebrity would have been happy to smile or make funny faces besides Quan.

The Vietnam-born actor whose family immigrated to California in the late 1970s first gained attention as a teenager in the hugely popular 1980s films “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and “The Johnny.” He transitioned to roles in the TV show “Head of the Class” and the movie “Encino Man” (starring fellow Academy Award nominee Brendan Fraser) in the early 1990s before work dried up.

Finding few opportunities in front of the camera, Quan turned elsewhere. He received a degree in film from the University of Southern California and worked behind the scenes as stunt coordinator and assistant director.

“I owe everything to the love of my life, my wife Echo,” he said, “who told me month after month, year after year for 20 years that someday, someday my time would come. Dreams are something you have to do believe in. I almost gave up.” About mine. To all of you out there, please keep your dreams alive.”

Inspired by the success of 2018’s Crazy Rich Asians, Quan returned to acting and landed an audition for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which earned a leading 11 Academy Award nominations. His former Goonies co-star, Jeff Cohen, serves as his lawyer who drafted the contract for his Oscar-winning role.

“Thank you for life to my Goonies brother, Jeff Cohen,” Kwan said.

Now, people stop him from talking about a movie he made as an adult, “Everything is everywhere at once.”

As Waymond Wang, Quan appeared in three different incarnations in the critically acclaimed film. He won a Golden Globe and became the first Asian male to win an individual category at the SAG Awards.

Quan, 51, is busy with new roles, including joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe series “Loki” on Disney+.

Quan won the Academy Award over fellow nominees Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan for “The Banshees of Inisherin,” Brian Tyree Henry from “Causeway,” and Judd Hirsch from “The Fabelmans.”

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