Ke Huy Quan, who played Harrison Ford’s 11-year-old sidekick Short Round in 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, is now all grown up and ready to be an Oscar contender.
Quan, 51, has received rave reviews for his role as Waymond Wang, the delightfully goofy husband in Daniels’ quirky multiverse comedy Everything Everywhere All at Once. Borrowing from previous hard-working actors who got their big Oscar breaks later in their careers — like Paul Raci for “Sound of Metal” (2020) and Troy Kotsur for “CODA” (2021) — Quan’s comeback story is one of the Staggered bright spots.
Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast recently sat down with Quan to talk about “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” where his career is headed next, and more. We started by talking about what he’s been up to for the past few years. Listen below:
Quan, also known for playing Data in The Goonies (1985), retired from acting in the late 1990s. Now, the Vietnam-born actor’s resurgence in career, like that of fellow A24 star Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”), has drawn a surge of support.
With no top candidate for supporting actor yet to emerge, Quan’s name has been widely debated; He even secured a Gotham name for himself in October. As the actor books more roles – he will appear in The Electric State and Marvel’s Loki – Quan’s increasing visibility in the business will bode well for his Oscar campaign.
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Best Supporting Actor has become the place where experienced performers are rewarded. Longtime actors like Alan Arkin (“Little Miss Sunshine,” 2006) and Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies,” 2015) found a path to recognition, even when all signs pointed to their top-ranked competitors. Quan will share the veteran tale with Brendan Gleeson (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) and Judd Hirsch (“The Fabelmans”), both of whom have been in love with Hollywood for decades. That could be a hurdle for him on the trail.
Alongside Quan’s inspirational comeback, his nomination would mark a historic achievement: he would be only the 10th Asian actor to be recognized as a supporting actor. Only one of those nominees won – Haing S. Ngor for The Killing Fields (1984).
Michelle Yeoh, who plays Wang’s horny wife Evelyn, is also well on her way to getting her first name. A nod from the leading lady would make her the second Asian woman to be nominated in this category, after Merle Oberon for The Dark Angel (1935). (Oberon’s part-Asian ethnicity was not known until after her death in 1979.)
Though the Daniels’ dramedy is loved by critics, its quirky premise and quirky scenes involving dildos and hot-dog fingers might give conservative Academy members pause. The campaign must ensure that Yeoh and Quan are presented as a package deal: it’s impossible to relive Evelyn’s journey without Waymond’s critical beats, especially in the Wong Kar Wai homage universe, which features the film’s best line – “In another life would have I really liked just doing laundry and taxes with you.”
Voters will surely find this life irresistible too.
Also on this episode of the Awards Circuit Podcast, Ben Foster discusses his new film, Emancipation. But first, the roundtable dissects new contenders, including “Babylon” and “Glass Onion.”
Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast, produced by Michael Schneider, who also co-hosts with Clayton Davis, is your one-stop shop for lively conversations about the best of film and television. Each week, Awards Circuit features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards and industry headlines; and a lot more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes are released weekly.
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https://variety.com/2022/film/awards/ke-huy-quan-oscars-everything-everywhere-all-at-once-1235429455/ Ke Huy Quan Oscar Frontrunner for Everything, Everywhere at Once