Ke Huy Quan completed his triumphant Hollywood comeback Sunday with a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
The “Everything Everywhere All at Once” star, who competed in the category against fellow nominees Judd Hirsch, Brendan Gleeson, Barry Keoghan and Brian Tyree Henry, tearfully accepted the trophy from Ariana DeBose and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Quan, a former child star who appeared in “The Goonies” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” before a dearth of Asian roles relegated him to the industry’s shadows, didn’t take the win for granted — and immediately thanked his mom.
“My mom is 84 years old and she’s at home watching,” said Quan. “Mom, I just won an Oscar!”
“My journey started on a boat,” he continued. “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!”
Quan recounted his decadeslong struggle of returning to Hollywood in multiple interviews during awards season. The 51-year-old Vietnamese American had quietly toiled behind the scenes on films until directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert cast him in “Everything” — changing his life at once.
Quan, who portrayed a dedicated family man in the A24 breakout hit, tearfully thanked his spouse.
“I owe everything to the love of my life, my wife, Echo, who month after month, year after year, for 20 years, told me that one day my time will come,” said Quan. “Dreams are something you have to believe in. I almost gave up on mine.”
“To all of you out there,” he continued, “please keep your dreams alive.”
The palpable gratitude in his speech arguably marked the purest moment of the night and preceded Jamie Lee Curtis, who played a stern IRS agent in the film, winning an Oscar herself.
“Thank you, thank you so much for welcoming me back!” Quan passionately screamed as the Dolby Theatre audience cheered in joy. “I love you! Thank you, thank you, thank you!”