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Ke Huy Quan makes incredible comeback with Oscar win after quitting acting because no one would hire him

Stefania Sarrubba

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Ke Huy Quan makes incredible comeback with Oscar win after quitting acting because no one would hire him

Ke Huy Quan made sure there wasn't a single dry eye in the house tonight (March 12) at the Oscars when receiving the award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

Quan has often hinted at fearing his career was at a dead end before the role of Waymond Wang came along.

The performer, best known for his appearance as Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, returned to acting with multiverse movie Everything Everywhere All At Once.

The imaginative mother-daughter drama from directing duo the Daniels (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) gave Quan a new springboard and helped him sweep this awards season, in which he had previously earned the Golden Globe and the Screen Actors' Guild Awards for Best Supporting Actor, becoming the first Asian man to win the latter award.

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At the Academy Awards, a visibly elated and emotional Quan gave a powerful speech about following one's dreams and how difficult it had been for him to keep believing in his.

Ke Huy Quan in February 2023. Credit: Alamy
Ke Huy Quan in February 2023. Credit: Alamy

"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," the actor said.

"They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I cannot believe it's happening to me. This is the American Dream."

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The actor gave a lovely shoutout to his mum, who was at home watching and cheering him on ("Mum, I just won an Oscar!") and brother, as well as his Everything Everywhere All At Once team. He also thanked his wife Echo, who stood by him when he struggled to get new opportunities.

"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. Dreams are something you have to believe in. I almost gave up on mine," Quan said.

"To all of you out there, please keep your dreams alive. Thank you so much for welcoming me back. I love you."

Everything Everywhere All At Once was up for 11 awards in total. Credit: A24
Everything Everywhere All At Once was up for 11 awards in total. Credit: A24
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Quan recently spoke about how he had not had much luck before the Daniels came along.

“Your early 20s are supposed to be golden years and all I did was wait for the phone to ring,"

“The last time they saw me up on screen I was a little kid and now I’m a middle-aged man,” Quan recently told The Telegraph.

"I had no idea how the audience would respond. I think I've cried more in the last two months than I've cried in the last 20 years."

Featured Image Credit: ABC/Lucasfilm Ltd.

Topics: Oscars, Academy Awards, TV and Film

Stefania Sarrubba
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