Ke Huy Quan has just made history, becoming the first ever Asian actor to take home the big three (the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award) for a single performance.
However, despite him taking the world by storm with his performance as Waymond in the genre-bending award-topping sensation Everything Everywhere All At Once, it was his win at the 95th Annual Academy awards that proved the power of cinema in changing lives.
For many, Quan may be someone they recognise from their childhood but just can’t place.
The former child star first rose to prominence in the 80s after breakout performances in Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom and The Goonies however cited the limited roles for Asian actors in Hollywood in the 90s and 2000s as his reason for leaving the industry.
Now, in his Oscar’s speech, not only is he bringing everyone to tears with his compelling message of hope, but proving just how much Hollywood loves a comeback kid.
The 51-year-old Vietnamese-American actor started his speech in tears, stating: “Stories like this only happen in the movies, I can’t believe this is happening to me!”
Upon the moment Academy Award winners Ariana DeBose and Troy Kotsur announced Quan as the recipient of the Best Actor in a Supporting Role, the illustrious A-listers were up on their feet giving the star a well-deserved standing ovation.
His co-stars Michelle Yeoh and Stephanie Hsu were also in tears, with Quan’s wife Echo being shouted out as the love of his life.
“I owe everything to the love of my life, my wife Echo, who month after month, year after year, for twenty years, told me that one day my time will come,” he said.
Quan dedicated his role, just like his fellow Everything Everywhere All At Once co-star Jamie Lee Curtis, to his family.
“My mom is 84 years old and she’s at home watching. Mom, I just won an Oscar!” he said.
Quan also revealed that his journey to end up on “Hollywood’s biggest stage” wasn’t a conventional one.
“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!”
Quan also thanked his little brother David “who calls me every day to take good care of myself”, his “Goonies brother for life”, Jeff Cohen (who played Chunk in the 1985 cult-classic and now represents Ke as his attorney) and Everything Everywhere All At Once directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.
However, the most poignant message we took from Quan’s acceptance speech was one of hope.
“Dreams are something you have to believe in,” he said through tears.
“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!”