Back With a Bang: Former Goonies Child Star Ke Huy Quan is Catching Everyone's Attention in ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ - Trending

While working behind the scenes for Crazy Rich Asians, Quan saw the revival of opportunities for Asians and gave acting another shot. 

Two multiverse-themed Hollywood films are trending right now: Marvel’s Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and  A24’s Everything Everywhere All At Once—which cost eight times less than the former’s $200 million budget. 

Although there are arguments on which was better (Jamie Lee Curtis sparked a feud on her Instagram’s comments section by saying Everything Everywhere, in which she appears, “out marvels any Marvel movie they put out there”), the film revived an eighties child star’s career, The Goonies’ Ke Huy Quan. 

Almost four decades later, Quan returns to the big screen in Everything Everywhere as Waymond Wang, starring opposite Michelle Yeoh. However, the long-acting hiatus wasn’t one entirely done by choice. 

In 1984, Quan starred as Harrison Ford’s sidekick in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. A year later, when he was 13, he was cast as Data in the adventure comedy The Goonies. Both films are regarded as two of the decade’s biggest movies and are still fan favorites today. 

While starring in the back-to-back blockbusters, Quan thought he would “have this amazing career,” the now 51-year-old told PeopleHowever, besides a few minor TV roles, the opportunities subsided.

“It was tough,” the Vietnam native continued. “I was waiting for the phone to ring, and it rarely did.” At the time, opportunities for Asian actors were sparse unless the gig was small or stereotypical

By the early 2000s, Quan graduated from film school at USC (University of Southern California) and lent his talents behind the scenes instead as an assistant director and stunt coordinator. 

Changing Hollywood

Quan felt fulfilled at his crew posts; however, while working on 2018’s Crazy Rich Asians, he saw the resurgence of opportunities for Asians not just supporting but starring in Hollywood films. 

Crazy Rich Asians were the first all-Asian cast and an Asian-American lead in 25 years; the last was in 1993 for The Joy Luck Club

“I was so inspired by that movie, and the idea of me returning to my roots started percolating in my head,” he told The New York Times. “So I call up an agent friend and said, ‘I’m thinking about getting back into acting, would you like to represent me?’ And literally two weeks later, he calls and says, “There’s this movie written and directed by Daniels and starring Michelle Yeoh. And there’s this role you may be right for, where you play her husband.” 

Back on-screen

Needless to say, Quan got the role and didn’t just play Yeoh’s mild-mannered partner but two other versions of the character (it’s set in different universes, after all). With the successful comeback role for Everything Everywhere, which garnered $35 million at the North American box office in six weeks, Quan found himself in disbelief. 

“I loved every single minute of it,” he told the publication. “I remember the very first day of shooting: Jamie Lee Curtis is sitting in front of me, Michelle Yeoh is behind me, James Hong is to my left. For a brief moment, I had a panic attack. I go, ‘These are all legends. What the hell am I doing here?'”

Banner photo from @kehuyquan on Instagram.

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