Ke Huy Quan, fresh from his Oscar triumph, confesses to Variety, amid fears of a return that might not last, and a philosophy of life that allows him to withstand the ups and downs of the entertainment world.
Even if there was no shortage of perplexities in the face of the rain Oscars on Everything Everywhere All at Oncevirtually no one complained about the affection poured on Ke Huy Quanthe wild ex-child of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom And The Gooniesalmost forty years ago. Strange case of him: disappeared from circulation since the early nineties, he had resigned himself to being forgotten and working behind the scenes as a martial arts consultant. The combination of nostalgia and opening at Asian minorities in Hollywood brought him back to the crest of the wave. Will last? He asked himself this in an interview with Variety.
Oscar 2023, Brendan Fraser and Ke Huy Quan had already met in a movie
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Ke Huy Quan narrowly avoided ending up like many ex-child prodigy of the cinema, often engaged in this or that rehabilitation therapy for drug abuse or “difficult” behavior. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have though suffered much from the early nineties to today: he arrived in America in 1979 as an emigrant, already in 1983 on the set with Steven Spielbergfelt the joy of his parents for what he himself in the 2023 Oscar ceremony called “the american dream“. But later…
When opportunities began to fadeI could see that my parents wanted something different for me, because they realized that i was not happy. (…) And this hurt me so much, because there was nothing I could do to get anyone to put me in a movie or create a big role for me. And that’s one of the things I hated about this business. (…)
Ke explains that he even got angry at times his wife Echosure that the relaunch would come: “I said to her: you keep saying it but it will never happen. I did not believe itbecause twenty years is not a few”. Now everything seems to have changed. It seems, but Quan knows the world of cinema enough to stay with the down to earth: “I was just talking to my agent about it. It worries me a lot that it won’t last“. At the table next to Cate Blanchettfor one of the many events of these days, says he told her to hear the responsibility of this trust that they are giving him, but Cate was pragmatic: she advised him to just follow his heart and be serene “irresponsible“, choosing what he really feels like doing. Certainly Ke has never held a grudge.
They taught me never to blame others. If something doesn’t go your way, it’s you who didn’t try hard enough, you weren’t good enough or you didn’t believe it all the way. When I couldn’t find engagements, I blamed myself: I thought I wasn’t tall enough, or handsome enough, or not a good actor, because I didn’t have a traditional education. I have never blamed anyone, even today. (…) Today we talk about representation of Asians, but I don’t like to look back and say: “Oh my God, it was awful before!” I prefer to focus on the present and move forward. Many things have changed.
We will soon see Ke Huy Quan in two TV series on Disney+ (the second season of Loki about the middle of the year, e American Born Chinese since May), as well as in the film The Electric State with Millie Bobby Browndirected by the Russo brothers, arriving in 2024 on Netflix.