Ke Huy Quan Wins Best Supporting Actor Oscar, Capping a Remarkable Comeback

“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,” he said in his acceptance speech.

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By Kyle Buchanan

Ke Huy Quan won the Oscar for his supporting role in “Everything Everywhere All At Once” at the 95th Academy Awards on Sunday night, completing one of the most impressive Hollywood comebacks of all time.

After experiencing fame in the 1980s as a child actor in films like “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and “The Goonies,” Quan eventually moved behind the camera to work in stunt choreography. “I had to step away because the phone stopped ringing,” he told The Times about his two-decade absence from the screen. “Hollywood didn’t write roles for Asian actors.” But he continued to pay his Screen Actors Guild dues every month, as if biding his time for a return to acting.

In 2018, inspired by the success of “Crazy Rich Asians,” Quan called an agent friend to represent him and only two weeks later, he was sent “Everything Everywhere,” in which he plays the kindhearted husband of Michelle Yeoh’s multiverse-jumping heroine. Since the film’s release, Quan has taken trophy after trophy from the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Critics Choice Awards, and Independent Spirit Awards.

Now, in a year that saw a record number of Asian performers nominated in the acting races, Quan has added an Academy Award to that shelf of statuettes. Below is his full acceptance speech.

Oh my God. Thank you. Thank you. My mom is 84 years old. And she’s at home watching. Mom, I just won an Oscar. 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. They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I cannot believe it’s happening to me. This, this, is the American dream. Thank you so much.

Thank you so much to the Academy for this honor of a lifetime. Thank you to my mom for the sacrifices you made to get me here. To my little brother David, who calls me every day just to remind me to take good care of myself. I love you, brother.

Thank you to Kendall for all your support and everything you’ve done. Thank you to A24, the Daniels, Jonathan, Jamie, Michelle and my “Goonies” brother for life, Jeff Cohen. 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, one day, my time will come. 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. Thank you, thank you so much for welcoming me back. I love you. Thank you thank you thank you.

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