After his big Oscar win on Sunday, Ke Huy Quan of «Everything Everywhere All at Once» looked back on his early days as a refugee fleeing Vietnam, a journey that would ultimately put him on the path to Hollywood history.
Talking with Variety The day after the ceremony, Quan, who took home the best supporting actor award, recounted how his family fled after the Vietnam War. Quan said that at the time he did not understand why his parents felt it necessary to leave.
“I was a normal kid in Vietnam, and suddenly my parents decided to run away. … It was in the middle of the night. My dad and five of my other siblings escaped on a boat,” said Quan, who was 7 when his family left. “We arrived in Hong Kong, and suddenly I was in a refugee camp surrounded by guards and police.”
Quan, who is only the second Asian to win in his Oscar category, explained that his family stayed in the refugee camp for a year before being granted political asylum and heading to the US.
In his interview with Variety, he explained that he wanted to thank his family for his decision to go on the run for a while. Her acceptance speech at the Oscars turned out to be the perfect outlet.
“I grew up in a family where we just didn’t share our emotions,” she said. “Last night, I wanted to do that publicly. I wanted the world to know how much my parents meant to me. To do that on the biggest stage, that felt amazing.»
Quan explained that shortly after his family moved to the US, he found early stardom with his role as Short Round in «Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,» kicking off his career in the entertainment industry.
“Luckily, four years later I got a job at ‘Indiana Jones’ that changed my life,” Quan said.
During her acceptance speech, she told the crowd that her «journey began on a ship.»
“And somehow I ended up here on the biggest stage in Hollywood. They say stories like this only happen in movies,» Quan said. “I can’t believe this is happening to me. This is the American dream.»
For Quan, the Oscars capped an immensely successful awards season for his critically acclaimed portrayal of Waymond Wang, a doting husband who helps save the multiverse while trying to keep his marriage and family together. He previously won Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, becoming the first Asian to win in the category. Earlier in the year, he took home Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Awards, and Gotham Awards, among others.