Ke Huy Quan had a major night at the 2023 Oscars on March 12. The “Everything Everywhere All at Once” star won best supporting actor for his role and got to celebrate the movie’s other six wins, including best picture. But perhaps the icing on the cake was Quan’s old Indiana Jones costar Harrison Ford being the one to give the “Everything Everywhere All at Once” cast and crew the biggest award of the night. The acting pair even shared an emotional and loving embrace on stage.
In an interview with Variety published on March 15, Quan opened up about how momentous having Ford be the one to present him with the best picture Oscar was. “When he opened that envelope and read the title, it made our win for best picture even more special,” he said. “And when I ran up onstage, I pointed at him and he pointed back at me and I gave him a hug. I just couldn’t help myself. I just want to shower this man with all my love. I gave Harrison Ford a big kiss on the cheek.”
As a child actor, Quan starred as Short Round with Ford in 1984’s “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” It was his very first movie role. The next year, Quan appeared as Data in “The Goonies.” During his acceptance speech Sunday night, he thanked his fellow “Goonies” star Jeff Cohen, who’s now his entertainment lawyer.
Quan went on to get nostalgic in his Variety interview, opening up about what it was like watching himself in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” for the first time. “We saw it at Mann’s Chinese Theatre,” he said. “That was the first time that I saw myself up on the big screen. Watching the movie with the audience and hearing them laugh and applaud, it was such a great feeling. I wanted to repeat it again and again and again.”
Despite all of his recent award show recognition, Quan struggled to find roles for himself in adulthood. After his childhood roles, Quan ultimately moved away from acting, attended film school at the University of Southern California, and became a stunt coordinator. Quan told Variety that he tries not to point fingers when it comes to the tough time he had getting a foothold in Hollywood after his initial success.
“I was taught never to blame anybody. If something doesn’t go the way you want, it’s either because you didn’t work hard enough, you weren’t good enough or you didn’t try hard enough. So when I couldn’t get a job, I blamed myself: I thought I wasn’t tall enough, I wasn’t good-looking enough, or I wasn’t a good enough actor because I wasn’t classically trained. I never blamed anybody — even to this day,” he continued. “We talk about Asian representation, but I don’t like to look at the past and say, ‘Oh, my God, how bad it was!’ I’d rather focus on the present and moving forward. A lot has changed.”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” marked Quan’s major return to the screen, and he alluded to his long road to Oscar victory in his acceptance speech. “Dreams are something you have to believe in. I almost gave up on mine,” he said, adding, “To all of you out there, please keep your dreams alive!” Quan also thanked his wife, Echo, for never giving up on him.
Back in September 2022, Quan and Ford reunited for the first time in 38 years at D23 Expo. Ford was there to promote his return to Indiana Jones in this summer’s “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” the fifth film in the franchise. Quan, meanwhile, was promoting season two of “Loki,” since he’s joining the cast in a new role. “‘I love you, Indy.’ Indiana Jones and Short Round reunited after 38 years,” Quan wrote under a photo of him and Ford that he shared on Instagram at the time.
It’s unclear when (or if) Quan and Ford will have an onscreen reunion anytime soon, but there’s a lot of opportunity. They’re both in the MCU now, with Ford joining “Captain America: New World Order” and “Thunderbolts.” Ford also appears on Apple TV+’s “Shrinking,” which was just renewed for season two; we could easily imagine Quan appearing for a guest spot on the show.
Ahead, see photos of Ford and Quan’s Oscars embrace and their sweet friendship.