Ke Huy Quan was just 12 years old when he was offered the chance to audition for movies” target=”_blank”>”Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”< for their latest issue.
“But I fell in love with it,” said Quan. “That movie changed my life and my entire family’s life.”
Kate Capshaw holds onto Ke Huy Quan over a broken bridge in a scene from the film "Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom."
Quan admitted that he was initially intimidated working alongside Ford and director steven-spielberg” target=”_blank”>Steven Spielberg<, 1985’s “The Goonies.” At first, Quan believed “that I was going to have this amazing career.” But Quan only landed a few minor TV and film roles. He found himself being offered stereotypical parts geared toward Asians.
Fame left as soon as it came.
Harrison Ford, Ke Huy Quan and Kate Capshaw on set of the film "Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom," 1984.
“It was tough,” Quan admitted. “I was waiting for the phone to ring, and it rarely did.”
Quan said that in the early 2000s, he made the “very difficult decision” to walk away from acting. Instead, he immersed himself in his studies and graduated from film school at USC. He then focused on working behind the scenes as an assistant director and stunt coordinator.
But 20 years later, Quan saw 2018’s “Crazy Rich Asians” and was inspired to revisit his first love.
“I was happy working behind the camera, but I had serious FOMO,” Quan told the outlet. “I wanted to be up there with my fellow Asian actors!”
Ke Huy Quan attends the East West Players 56th Anniversary Visionary Awards at City Market Social House on April 23, 2022, in Los Angeles, California.
(Araya Doheny/Getty Images)
Today, Quan is starring in “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” where he plays three versions of one character named Waymond Wang, a loving husband who travels through multiple universes in an attempt to help his wife (Michelle Yeoh) save the world.
“When I read the script I thought it was written for me because they are me,” he explained. “I understood every single one of them. I don’t think I could have played Waymond had you given me the role 10, 15 years ago. Looking back upon my life, all the highs and lows, I reached deep within me to pour my entire life into these three different characters.”
Quan said he’s aware audiences will best remember him from his two ‘80s hits as a child star. However, he’s eager for what Hollywood holds for him today.
“For many, many years people recognized me only as a child [actor] because that was pretty much the last time they saw me up on the screen,” he said. “I’m hoping when people see me now they go, ‘Oh my God! Waymond from ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ – and you were also in ‘Indiana Jones’ [and] ‘Goonies!’”