Oscar Winner Ke Huy Quan Gets Emotional About ‘The American Dream’

Oscar winner Ke Huy Quan said winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor is a great example of the American Dream being fully realized.

“My mom is 84 years old and she’s at home watching,” Quan began tearfully from the stage Sunday night. “Mom, I just won an Oscar!”

“My journey started on a boat,” the Vietnam-born actor 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 … this is the American Dream!”

“Mom, I just won an Oscar!”

Ke Huy Quan’s acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor hit us right in the feels. 🥹 pic.twitter.com/CzHuHU45Ip

— The Academy (@TheAcademy) March 13, 2023

Quan took home the golden statue for his work in the indie sci-fi comedy “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” the biggest winner of the night with seven Oscars, including Best Picture. 

The actor’s Hollywood career began as a child star playing Short Round in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984) and Data in “Goonies” (1985). Quan is also known for his roles in the 1991 sitcom “Head of the Class” and the comedy “Encino Man” (1992) opposite Brendan Fraser.

Then Quan took a decades-long break from Hollywood before coming back to take the part in “Everything Everywhere,” which resulted in his big Oscar win. In a buzzed-about reunion moment, actor Harrison Ford, Quan’s co-star from “Indiana Jones,” presented him with the award.

“I didn’t think this day would come. It was a day I wanted for so long, for decades. And it’s finally here,” the actor said in an interview with AP ahead of the ceremony. “When you have a dream and you kind of bury it because you think it won’t come true, to see it finally come true is incredible.”

“For the longest time, all I wanted was just a job,” the actor said. “Just an opportunity to act, to show people what I can do. This movie, ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once,’ has given me so much beyond anything I could have ever asked for.”

“There are so many people out there who doubt themselves, who have dreams they’ve given up or didn’t think would ever come true,” Quan told the publication. “To those people, I hope my story inspires them.”

Michelle Yeoh also made history with her Best Actress Oscar win for “Everything Everywhere” by becoming the first Asian to win the Academy Award. The 60-year-old made a subtle dig at CNN anchor Don Lemon during her speech, saying, “And ladies, don’t let anybody ever tell you you are past your prime.”

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