Why The Star of “Stooges” and “Indiana Jones” Ke Huy Quan Returned to Acting After 20 Years


Ke Huy Quan’s life story sounds like it’s taken straight from a movie. The actor starred in two of the most significant touchstones of pop culture of the 80s, which influenced a generation of creators of genre films, but almost disappeared after they abandoned their dreams of acting in the 90s. Nevertheless, in 2022, the veteran of the Temple of Destiny triumphantly returned to the big screen in the critically acclaimed (look what we thought) “Everything Everywhere and at Once”. It is clear that the Stooges star loudly announced his return to performing after a 20-year break, and this is a kind of heartbreaking situation.

Ke Huy Quan, now 51, told People magazine that he never intended to become an actor, but he fell in love with the process after he visited the filming of the movie “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Destiny.” Having landed two high-profile roles in films related to mega-director Steven Spielberg, Quan thought he was on the edge of the movie star abyss, only for the roles to dry up, with the exception of a few minor roles on television. The artist told the publication:

I thought I was going to have this amazing career. It was hard. I was waiting for the phone to ring, and it rarely rang.

In the early 2000s, Quan decided to avoid this particular path of disappointment and quit acting, refusing to work behind the camera, often as a stunt coordinator (known in “X-Men”) or a second director. But the star says he had a bad case of “FOMA” when he saw the success of the 2018 success story “Insanely Rich Asians”:

I was happy to work behind the camera, but I had a serious FOMO. I wanted to be there with my fellow Asian actors!

The performer regained the desire to be in front of the camera, so he hired an agent. As a result of a series of unexpected events, the script of the genre fantasy of Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert was in front of Kuan for reading. The script, he said, was written specifically for him at that particular moment in his life, because all three versions of the character seemed to be part of him. He continued:

When I read the script, I thought it was written for me because it’s me. I understood each of them. I don’t think I could have played Waymond if you had given me this role 10 or 15 years ago, but looking back at my life, at all its ups and downs, I reached deep inside myself to put my whole life into these three different characters.

If you’ve watched “Everything and Everywhere, All at Once,” you probably realize how difficult it is to imagine someone other than Ke Huy Quan in the role of Waymond. This performance brings so much soul, and its impact is undeniable. This not only won over the audience, but also brought the actor a Golden Globe — he shared the winner’s stage with his colleague in the film “The Man from Encino” Brendan Fraser, who also took home some gold. Winning the Golden Globes may have marked the beginning of a fruitful awards season for the actor, given that there was also considerable excitement around Kuan around the Oscar.

Although Ke Huy Quan is very sorry that he has not been in the spotlight for so long, it is very pleasant and encouraging to see his fabulous return to the big screen. If you are a fan of the actor’s performance in the movie “Everything and Everywhere, all at once”, you may be interested in our list of what to watch next from the star.

The Encino Man actor is due to appear in the second season of one of Marvel’s best TV shows, Loki.


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