Ke Huy Quan Continues Melting Hearts, Says He 'Thought Everyone Had Forgotten About Me'

Quan, a former child star, said "nobody wanted me" until "Everything Everywhere All At Once" was released.

Everything Everywhere All At Once” star Ke Huy Quan can’t stop being grateful.

The actor, appearing on “The Late Show” this week, told host Stephen Colbert he nearly gave up on his Hollywood dreams. Quan, now a Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee for his latest role, appeared palpably indebted.

“I’m so grateful,” he told Colbert. “I thought everybody had forgotten about me. But since the movie came out, there’s been so much positivity and so much kindness.”

Quan starred in blockbuster films as a child, including “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and “The Goonies,” only to find his career stall with increasingly fewer roles for Asians. His comeback after years behind the scenes has been widely celebrated.

Quan said filming wrapped on “Everything Everywhere All At Once” in March 2020 and its 2022 release eventually reinvigorated his career. But at first, during the pandemic period before the movie’s debut, he couldn’t find work.

“I was at home like everybody else trying to stay safe,” Quan told Colbert. “I was auditioning left and right, but sending self tapes. And what was interesting was I could not get a single job. Not one callback. Nobody wanted me.”

The audience gasped. A recent study by the Geena Davis Institute of Gender in Media found nearly half of all Asian roles in Hollywood films and TV shows serve as a mere comedic punchline.

“I was so worried because I was experiencing everything I experienced when I was a kid,” said Quan. “That’s why I stepped away. When you work with Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, you can’t go anywhere but downhill from there.”

That didn’t hold true forever, as Quan has become a front-runner in this year’s Oscars race and has provided some of the most endearing moments of the awards circuit. Whether he’ll win at the 95th Academy Awards airing on ABC on March 12 remains to be seen.

“As they say,” Quan told Colbert. “‘Good things come to people who wait.’”

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