The Vietnamese-born actor, who is best known playing Data in 1985’s “The Goonies” and Short Round in 1989’s “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” disappeared from Hollywood after his success as a child star.
Now that he has won an Oscar and several awards for his role in the 2023 Best Picture Oscar winner, the 51-year-old actor is concerned that his comeback “is only a one-time thing.”
Ke Huy Quan Fears His Acting Career May Fizzle After ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ Oscar Win
Although it appears that his career has nowhere to go but up, Ke Huy Quan knows how quickly success can come and go, especially in Hollywood. While speaking with Variety after his Oscar victory (via PEOPLE), the 51-year-old star confessed that he is “really scared” that he won’t be offered more roles as an actor.
“Everything is still so fresh in my mind. And that’s why moving forward, I’m still really scared,” he said. “Even though I just won an Oscar. I’m still really fearful of what tomorrow brings. I had a conversation with my agent, and I said, ‘I’m so worried that this is only a one-time thing.’”
“I’ve been down this road before and I’m so afraid that history is going to repeat itself,” he added. “I said ‘please, whatever you do, please make sure that does not happen.’” After his success in “The Goonies” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” Quan found himself able to find work as an actor and left Hollywood to pursue other projects before he stepped back in front of the camera again.
Cate Blanchett Gives The New Oscar Winner Some Heartfelt Advice
“Tár” Oscar nominee Cate Blanchett, 53, met with Ke Huy Quan earlier this year after one event this award season. The two-time Oscar winner told Quan to “just go with your heart” after Quan expressed concerns that his career might fizzle out after the success of “Everything Everywhere All At Once.”
“And she said, ‘Just go with your heart and be irresponsible: Don’t worry about what other people think,’ ” Quan recalled “‘Choose something that you believe in, choose something that you love, and things will work out.'”
Cate Blanchett was up for the Best Actress Oscar, along with Andrea Riseborough for “To Leslie,” Michelle Williams for “The Fablemans” and Ana de Armas for “Blonde.” They all lost to Quan’s “Everything Everywhere All At Once” costar, Michelle Yeoh, 60.
Ke Huy Quan Says He Once Tried Out An ‘American Sounding Name’ To Get More Roles
After his big Oscar win, Quan told reporters in the press room why he became “so emotional” after he heard presented Ariana DeBose call his name for Best Supporting Actor.
“When I started as a kid, it was my birth name, Ke Huy Quan. And I remembered when it got really tough, my manager told me that ‘maybe, you know, it would be easier if you were to have an American-sounding name,’ and I was so desperate for a job that I would do anything,” he told reporters on Sunday night.
Quan had used the names Jonathan Ke Quan and just Jonathan Quan at several points in his career to try to land him new roles. When he decided to return to acting in 2020, he told reporters that “the very first thing that I wanted to do was to go back to my birth given name.”
“Tonight to see Ariana open that envelope and say ‘Ke Huy Quan,’ that was a really, really special moment for me,” he added. “And then immediately I was so emotional.”
During his Oscar speech on Sunday night, Quan recalled, “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 is the American dream!” he continued. “Dreams are something you have to believe in. I almost gave up on mine. To all of you out there: Please keep your dreams alive!”