His underdog story touched the hearts of many during the lead up to Hollywood’s biggest night – the Academy Awards (more popularly known as the Oscars).
Vietnamese-American actor Ke Huy Quan would go on to snag a historic win for Best Supporting Actor in the 2023 Oscars for his role in Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Quan’s comeback story was the stuff bards of ye olden times would sing of. Here was a man, who had been ignored by Hollywood for decades, finally getting recognition and a second wind in his acting sails.
His story – from child refugee to Oscar winner – touched the world, even in a country as far removed from Hollywood as Singapore.
Speaking to Yahoo Southeast Asia on Sunday (17 Sept) at the Time100 Impact Awards in Singapore, 52-year-old Quan shared that people on our sunny island have come up to him to tell him how much they supported him.
He said, “Ever since I’ve been in Singapore, I’ve met so many people who came up to me, who told me that they love our movie, they love my story, they were rooting for me on Oscar night, and every step along the way.
Quan said it was “so good to know” that there was so much goodness and kindness in the world, and “it really touched my heart”.
The Time100 Impact Awards recognises global leaders who have gone above and beyond to move their industries forward.
Quan was honoured alongside Bollywood actor-singer Ayushmann Khurrana and American-Korean singer Eric Nam.
Where does Ke Huy Quan keep his Oscar trophy?
As for where he keeps his trophy, Quan replied that it was “at home”.
“It’s on a shelf, it’s very high up. And sometimes when I see it, I still can’t believe that it has my name on it,” he added.
When asked how he felt seeing his name with the “Oscar winner” label now, Quan gushed that “it’s so cool”.
He shared, “You know, when I go to the movies, and they always show trailers in the beginning and it always says ‘Academy Award nominee so-and-so’, ‘Academy Award winning actor’; I never thought in my life that I would have that prefix before my name.
“So it is wonderful and feels great, honestly. I mean, for the longest time, I didn’t know what to do so to be able to come back and to have this incredible journey, the success that we have had the last year, I feel so blessed.”
This isn’t Quan’s first time in Singapore, but his previous trip here was almost forty years ago.
The actor, who was a child then, came here to promote “a movie directed by Steven Spielberg, with Harrison Ford”.
“I remember the food was great, and the people were really kind and nice and generous,” he recalled, adding that this impression has held up on his current trip.
In addition to attending the Time100 Impact Awards, Quan was also a guest at Malaysian comedian Ronny Chieng’s sold-out show at the Star Performing Arts Centre on Wednesday.
He met local actors like Pierre Png, Janice Koh and Koh Chieng Mun and took photos with them.
Chieng co-starred with Quan on the Disney+ comedy series American Born Chinese, along with fellow Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh, Singapore actor Chin Han and Malaysian actress Yeo Yann Yann.
Quan also shared with Yahoo that he had just met up with Yeo that Sunday morning.
He said, “Every single meal that I’ve had has been incredible. Every person that I’ve met has been so wonderful. Thank you for making this trip so memorable. I will always remember this.”
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