It was, undoubtedly, a weekend to remember for Ke Huy Quan. The annual Unforgettable Gala, which “spotlights Asian Pacific Islander creatives and leaders in entertainment, the arts, and culture,” was held Saturday. Ke was honored for his work in Everything Everywhere All At Once. What made his win even cooler? His old cast-mates from The Goonies presented him with the award.
Until his leading role in Everything, Quan has not acted since his last appearance on The Goonies. After appearing in roles in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984 and The Goonies, Quan shared that he pushed to walk away from acting, as there were few opportunities for Asian American actors at the time. He decided to study film at the University of California, and take on roles behind the scenes as a stunt coordinator.
Fast forward two decades later, Quan landed his role in Everything, Everywhere All At Once, with tons of accolades and nominations — and now a win for the Best-Actor-In-Film Award at the Unforgettable Gala.
“This is a really special night for me. To be recognized by the AAPI community means the world to me,” Quan gushed to Vanity Fair. “For the longest time, I wanted a night like this for the AAPI community to celebrate each other. Honestly, I wouldn’t be here without all of the amazing talent in our community. They have shown me through their own success that there was a way back for me to acting. They are the ones that gave me the courage to dream again, so it means the world to me to be here.”
Former costars Sean Astin and Jeff Cohen presented the award to Quan, and the pair showered their dear friend Ke with love and praise, saying, “He’s always been an amazing actor, a kind person, every room that he enters, he lights up. He wants people to be happy.”
“Being nominated for awards was something I never thought of. I just wanted to work as an actor, really, that was it,” said Quan. “So to be here today and to win an award, I’m overwhelmed with emotion.”
Quan has been nominated for dozens of acting awards for his role so far — he’s up for a Golden Globe in 2023.
“Goonies never say die!” said Astin, who played the starring role of Mikey in the cult classic.
He also said the pair had been friends for four decades and lauded Quan’s “kindness, loyalty, strength, love, purity.”
Cohen, who everyone remembers as Chunk, shared that their families get together for the holidays. “I will tell you, if you need someone to say the prayer over your Hanukkah candles, Ke Huy Quan is your man. There’s literally nothing that he cannot do. He’s always been an amazing actor, a kind person, every room that he enters, he lights up. He wants people to be happy.”
Even better: Cohen is now Quan’s entertainment lawyer.
“When the Everything Everywhere All at Once producer was negotiating my deal, he had to call and talk to Jeff,” Quan said during his acceptance speech. “And later, he told me that never in his life would he have to talk to Chunk to get Data to be in his movie. It was really funny.”
Now that’s what you call a comeback. Somtimes reality is stranger than fiction. Congrats, Quan!