‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ Star Ke Huy Quan Decided to Pursue Acting Again After Seeing the Asian Representation in ‘Crazy Rich Asians’
He made his acting debut as a child in the 80’s, starring in iconic films such as ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’ and ‘The Goonies’.
‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ star Ke Huy Quan spoke to WBUR about his decision to pursue acting again after 20 years because of the Asian representation he saw in the 2018 blockbuster film ‘Crazy Rich Asians’.
Quan made his acting debut as a child in the 80’s, starring in iconic films such as ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’ and ‘The Goonies’. However, as he got older, he found that it became much more difficult for him to find relevant roles.
“As I got older, in my late teens and early twenties, there was nothing there for me,” he recalled. “It was just really difficult being an Asian actor working in Hollywood at that time. I found myself spending a lot of time waiting for that phone to ring.”
When the phone did finally ring with an audition opportunity, it was usually for minor characters who were just stereotypes, many of them not even having a name.
As a result, Quan went to film school and began utilizing his knowledge as a black belt in Taekwondo to work as a fight choreographer for films, giving up his acting career in the process.
It wasn’t until 2018, many years after his last film role when he saw the representation in ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ that he was inspired to pursue acting again.
By chance, this was also around the time that the writing/directing team of Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan began to put together ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once.’
After stumbling upon a clip of Quan’s old roles, they reached out to set up an audition which led to Quan getting the part.
Speaking on his return to acting, Quan credited the many Asian trailblazers working in the film industry, “My return to acting is a direct result of their progress,” he says. “It was a progress that we have been making in the last few years in Hollywood. So, this is an incredible time. All I can say is I’m really happy now. I’m at a very happy place.”
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