The Oscars are coming up and these actors who grew up in the industry are showing their support for the Everything Everywhere All at Once star.
Ke Huy Quan was only 12 years old when he starred as Harrison Ford’s sidekick, Short Round, in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The following year, in 1985, he co-starred in The Goonies as Data.
Since then, it’s been a struggle for the actor to find more roles. “It was a painful period, and I was so lost. I was confused, I was miserable, I was very dispirited,” Quan said.
In 2018, Quan saw Crazy Rich Asians starring Constance Wu, Henry Golding, and Michelle Yeoh. Wishing he was up there with them, he began to entertain the idea of returning to acting. Hollywood is changing and there are more roles for Asian actors compared to decades ago.
Two weeks after he told his agent friend he wanted to start acting again, he landed an audition for Waymond Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once. The film’s directors, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, had actually already had him in mind.
Everything has led to this. Congratulations to our 18 Academy Award nominees including Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Whale, Aftersun, Marcel The Shell With Shoes On, Close, and Causeway! #Oscars2023 pic.twitter.com/F469dcv9fQ
— A24 (@A24) January 24, 2023
Today, Quan is in the running for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Few child actors have seen a comeback as great as this, which is why many of them are rallying behind him.
One of them is Jonathan Lipnicki. At five years old, he starred in Jerry Maguire alongside Tom Cruise. He was in other big movies as a child but as he grew older, roles became few and far between.
“He gives a lot of us who had that former notoriety inspiration,” said Lipnicki. “If you stick with something long enough, things can come back around, especially if you’re studious about it.”
Mara Wilson, star of Mrs. Doubtfire, Miracle on 34th Street, and Matilda, also expressed her happiness at seeing Quan embrace his passion.
“It’s like we’re in a very strange club together where we have our own unique difficulties and unique joys, so there’s some team spirit between us,” she said.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) March 8, 2023
Asian actors face a different challenge, due to the scarcity of roles that were available to them back then. Filipino-American actor Dante Basco shared that he could definitely relate.
As a young teenager, he joined the cast of Steven Spielberg’s Hook, based on Peter Pan. Basco played the leader of the Lost Boys named Rufio alongside huge stars such as Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams.
But unfortunately, this wasn’t his big break. “My agents said, ‘You just did the biggest movie in town, but there are no roles for you,” Basco recalled.
Eventually, he built his fanbase after voicing Zuko in the hit animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender. He’s also gone on to star and direct his own film, The Fabulous Filipino Brothers.
Basco admires Quan’s journey back to acting, in a groundbreaking film at that. “That’s the kid actor’s dream,” he said.
Including Quan’s nomination, Everywhere Everything All at Once is the most acknowledged film at the Oscars this year. It’s already a big win for the veteran actors and Asian representation.
Banner image via Instagram @kehuyquan.