In Everything Everywhere All at Once, Ke Huy Quan plays Waymond Wang, a kind father and husband, we also meet variants of Waymond who are martial arts experts and suave men, and ultimately the heartbeat of the film. All of this culminates into a brilliantly moving, heartwarming and action-packed performance from Quan. This role also marks a comeback for the actor after spending decades behind the screen.
Now, Quan’s performance has been praised by many, and he’s become a beloved actor once again. Along with all the talk surrounding his performance, he’s also become a frontrunner in this year’s Best Supporting Actor race at this year’s Oscars, and here’s why.
Ke Huy Quan’s Story With Everything Everywhere All At Once
This story is incredible, and Ke Huy Quan deserves every ounce of acclaim he receives for Everything Everywhere All at Once. Not only is he incredible in the film, Quan has also been waiting a long time to come back to the screen. It’s so exciting that he’s received so much praise for the role that represented his big comeback.
Before The Daniels hired Quan to be in their mind-boggling A42 film, the last movies he was known for were 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, where he played Short Round, and 1985’s The Goonies, where he played Data.
He had put his acting career behind him after having trouble landing roles in the ‘90s and early ‘00s for a career behind the camera. He went to USC Film School, according to GQ, and ended up working in Asia as a fight coordinator and assistant director.
And then Crazy Rich Asians came out. Quan explained to the magazine that seeing the Asian representation in that film made him feel “serious FOMO,” and he started to think about getting in front of the camera again. So, by way of a funny Goonies connection, an EEAAO producer got ahold of Quan to talk about him playing Waymond, and boy are we glad he decided to come back.
Not only is Quan the clear frontrunner, he’s also been shown immense love from actors like Brendan Fraser as well as his Temple of Doom co-star Harrison Ford, who told Uproxx while chatting about his adorable reunion with Quan at D23 this year just how much he loved EEAAO. I think it’s safe to assume many Academy voters also feel the same way about Quan and his inspiring story and performance.
How Ke Huy Quan Compares To The Supporting Actor Competition This Year
There have been two major comebacks this year between Brendan Fraser’s performance in The Whale, and Ke Huy Quan’s performance in Everything Everywhere All at Once, and both have been the frontrunners in the lead and supporting actor categories, respectively, for a while. However, while Fraser has stiff competition in his category because of Colin Farrell's performance in The Banshees of Inisherin, Quan is by far and away the frontrunner in his category.
As for Quan’s competition, he’ll likely be up against Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan, who both starred in The Banshees of Inisherin for sure. The other names are up in the air, but could include Brian Tyree Henry for his performance in Causeway, Judd Hirsch and Paul Dano who both starred in The Fabelmans, Eddie Redmayne in The Good Nurse, and possibly Ben Whishaw for his performance in Women Talking.
Quan has also taken home awards from the Gotham Awards and the New York Film Critics Circle. On top of that he’s earned nominations for the Film Independent Spirit Awards, Satellite Awards and the Golden Globes, with more nominations likely to come. Therefore, an Oscar nomination seems inevitable, and a win is highly likely.
So, with all this being said, the uncertainty of the competition at this point and the continued success of Quan on the awards circuit, it seems like a near guarantee he’ll be taking home a Best Supporting Actor trophy come March 12.
How Ke Huy Quan’s Story Aligns With Past Supporting Actor Winners
A similarity I’ve picked up over the years with the Supporting Actor category is the award is often won by first-time nominees, and older actors whose performances prompt a level of recognition they haven’t received before for their work – like J.K. Simmons in 2015’s Whiplash and Sam Rockwell in 2018’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. This would also be true for Ke Huy Quan. However, what really convinces me of his ability to win this year requires us to look back at the 2022 Academy Award winners, specifically the Best Supporting Actor winner, Troy Kotsur.
Last year Kotsur won over the hearts of many for his performance in Best Picture winner CODA. His performance as a deaf, loving father to a hearing daughter was incredibly moving. He also helped represent the deaf community by becoming the first deaf actor to win in this category, and the second to win an Oscar ever. He also had a great awards season, picking up a Screen Actors Guild Award, an Indpepend Spirit Award, a Gotham Award, a Critics’ Choice Award, a BAFTA and eventually the Oscar, basically sweeping the season.
Well, Quan, plays a loving father in a film that represented the Asian community in a way that few films have. If he gets nominated he will be the tenth Asian actor nominated in this category, and if he wins it will be the second time an Asian actor has taken home an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. He’s already picked up quite a few awards, as mentioned above, and people adore him. I’d assume as the awards season continues he’ll pick up nominations and awards just like Kotsur did last year.
Can Key Huy Quan Win Best Supporting Actor At The Academy Awards
Honestly, at this point, I’ll be more shocked if Ke Huy Quan doesn’t win Best Supporting Actor. He’s the clear front-runner, and he's such a deserving recipient of an Academy Award. Not only is he fantastic in Everything Everywhere All at Once as Waymond, his story is also so inspiring, and his winning would truly show just how incredible he is.
Everyone loves a comeback, and not only does Key Huy Quan have that, he has a brilliant performance in one of the best movies on the 2022 movie schedule to prove just how amazing he is.
If you are interested in watching Quan’s phenomenal performance, check out our guide on how to stream Everything Everywhere All at Once.
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Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.