Everybody loves a good comeback story, especially in Hollywood, and I predict that, by the end of 2022, the honor of “Comeback of the Year” will deservingly be awarded to Ke Huy Quan. For one of his first acting roles after two decades in retirement, the actor joins the cast of the Daniels’ astonishingly unique sci-fi masterpiece, Everything Everywhere All At Once, as Waymond Wang - a meek Chinese immigrant whose alternate self enlists the help of his dissatisfied wife (Michelle Yeoh) to stop a powerful threat to the Multiverse.
To understand just how cool it is to see this Vietnamese American actor back on the big screen and more badass than ever in a movie unlike any other, we will have to go all the way back to the very beginning of his career. Whether you are a longtime Ke Huy Quan fan or a fan in the making, the following is everything you need to watch and everywhere you can find it all in one place, starting with his iconic feature film debut.
Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (Paramount+)
After their plane crashes and leaves them stranded in India, a tough, globe-trotting archaeologist (Harrison Ford), a lounge singer (Kate Capshaw), and young, brave Chinese orphan (Ke Huy Quan) are asked by a group of poor villages to find a set of mystical stones, which leads them right into the clutches of a cruel secret cult.
Why it is worth checking out if you like Ke Huy Quan: Twelve-year-old Ke Huy Quan was actually accompanying his brother to an audition for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom when he caught the eye of the producers, who then cast him as Short Round (his very first and most iconic role) in this dark, thrilling 1984 sequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark from director Steven Spielberg.
The Goonies (Tubi)
As they face eviction by a company that wants to turn their entire coastal neighborhood into a golf course, a young, wide-eyed kid (future The Lord of the Rings cast member Sean Astin), his older brother (Oscar nominee Josh Brolin, a.k.a. the Marvel movies’ Thanos), and other close-knit, local youths search for a treasure belonging to a legendary pirate, which leads them right into a series of deadly traps and makes them the target of a criminal family searching for the same loot.
Why it is worth checking out if you like Ke Huy Quan: Just one year after his stunning debut as Short Round, Ke Huy Quan was cast among a large ensemble of young stars-in-the-making as the prodigious inventor, Richard “Data” Wang (his second most iconic role), in The Goonies - the thrilling, classic adventure story from director Richard Donner and producer Steven Spielberg.
Encino Man (Amazon Rental)
While digging a pool in his backyard, a nerdy California teen (Sean Astin) and his goofy best friend (Pauly Shore) accidentally discover the frozen, preserved body of a caveman (Brendan Fraser), whom they thaw out and introduce to their modern world while passing him off as a foreign exchange student from Estonia.
Why it is worth checking out if you like Ke Huy Quan: In 1992, Ke Huy Quan would reunite with his fellow The Goonies cast member, Astin, in the small role of a talented high school student named Kim in Encino Man - a funny and endearing fan-favorite comedy that is most definitely, and unashamedly, a product of its time.
Head Of The Class (HBO Max)
While working as a substitute teacher as we waits for his big break, a struggling New York City actor with a relaxed personality (Howard Hesseman) is assigned to look after a group of exceptionally gifted students who have been made out as the misfit crowd of their high school, inspiring him to provide them some much-needed guidance beyond their general education.
Why it is worth checking out if you like Ke Huy Quan: In what would actually become his second starring role in a sitcom (but easily the better known of the two, nonetheless), Ke Huy Quan joined the ensemble of young stars-in-the-making on the original Head of the Class as the intelligent Jasper Kwong in 1990 for the beloved series’ final two seasons.
Breathing Fire (Amazon Prime)
A teenager of Vietnamese descent (Ke Huy Quan) and his adoptive brother (Eddie Saavedra) seek the help of their kickboxing uncle (Ed Neil) to train them for a showdown against their criminal father (Jerry Trimble).
Why it is worth checking out if you like Ke Huy Quan: If Quan’s electrifying display of martial arts in Everything Everywhere All At Once left you cheering in your seat, than you have to see him kick ass as a teenager in the fun kung-fu favorite, Breathing Fire - director Lou Kennedy’s loose remake of the 1977 Taiwanese action film, The Flash Legs, which was released direct-to-video in the United States in 1992.
Finding Ohana (Netflix)
As their grandfather faces eviction from his house on land that has existed in his family for generations, a young, wide-eyed girl (Kea Peahu), her older brother (Alex Aiono), and their new friends search for a treasure belonging to a legendary pirate, which leads them right into a series of deadly traps and other hair-raising situations.
Why it is worth checking out if you like Ke Huy Quan: In his first official return to acting, Ke Huy Quan appears in Finding Ohana - a fun, adventurous Netflix exclusive film for all ages that is clearly heavily inspired by The Goonies.
Ke Huy Quan’s Stunt Coordinator Work
When Ke Huy Quan stopped acting in the early 2000s, he did not turn his back completely on Hollywood. He found work as a stunt coordinator for films like the first of the original X-Men movies in 2000 and the 42-minute sci-fi short film, Enigma, in 2009. He was also stunt rigger for The One - a Jet Li-led action thriller about a homicidal Multiverse traveler that predates Everything Everywhere All At Once by more than two decades.
Thankfully, it appears that Ke Huy Quan’s reignited acting career is getting started. The actor will reunite with his Everything Everywhere All At Once co-stars, Michelle Yeoh and Stephanie Hsu, for American Born Chinese - an upcoming Disney+ original series from director and executive producer, Daniel Destin Cretton.
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Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.