Ke Huy Quan says he ‘blamed’ himself for not landing roles after Indiana Jones success

Ke Huy Quan has opened up about his struggle to find roles following his childhood success in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and The Goonies.

The Vietnamese-American actor landed his first on-screen credit in the first outing of the Harrison Ford-led franchise in 1984. Shortly after, he appeared in the late director Richard Donner’s 1985 adventure classic.

In the decades proceeding, Quan was forced into a career hiatus because of the lack of roles for Asian actors.

Now 51, the Everything Everywhere All at Once star won his first Oscar for Best Supporting Actor at the 95th Academy Awards on Sunday (12 March).

While speaking to Variety in a new interview about his “surreal” win and Hollywood comeback, Quan further reflected upon the harder years when he “couldn’t get a job”.

“I was taught never to blame anybody. If something doesn’t go the way you want, it’s either because you didn’t work hard enough, you weren’t good enough or you didn’t try hard enough,” he said.

“So when I couldn’t get a job, I blamed myself: I thought I wasn’t tall enough, I wasn’t good-looking enough, or I wasn’t a good enough actor because I wasn’t classically trained.

Ke Huy Quan (AP)
Ke Huy Quan (AP)

“I never blamed anybody – even to this day,” Quan added.

His win, along with his EEAAO co-star Michelle Yeoh’s historical Best Actress triumph, are both being celebrated for showing that Asian-led films can be a hit with audiences and critics alike.

“Look where we are now: The landscape looks so different. We have a seat at the table. Our voices are being heard. Our faces are being seen,” Quan said.

He stipulated: “I don’t want to look at the past and say, ‘Oh, my God, how bad it was!’

“I’d rather focus on the present and moving forward. A lot has changed.”