Ke Huy Quan on ‘Goonies’ Co-Stars Congratulatory Messages After Oscar Win – Deadline

Backstage at the Oscars, where he spoke to the press after his win for Best Supporting Actor in Everything everywhere at onceKe Huy Quan remembered how it felt to change his name back from an Americanized name that a manager had suggested to him long ago.

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“You know, when I started as a child, my birth name was Ke Huy Quan,” he said. “And then I remember when it got really tough, my manager said to me, ‘Maybe it would be easier if you had an American-sounding name.’ And I was so desperate for a job that I would do anything. And it’s crazy that at one point I wanted to try another name, not the name I was given, but that just goes to show you how desperate I was after trying to do things differently.

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But when Quan decided to return to acting three years ago after a long fallow period in which he could not find work, he resolutely used his real name. In doing so, he felt that he had honored his mother, who had sacrificed so much for him.

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“The very first thing I wanted to do was go back to my birth name,” he said. “Tonight to see Ariana (DeBose) open that envelope and say ‘Ke Huy Quan,’ that was a really, really special moment for me. And immediately I got so emotional, but the first image I had in my mind was my mother – who is the reason I am in America, who is the reason I have a better life, I have all these opportunities. Like I said in my acceptance speech, she sacrificed so much. She had a great life, where we came from, and she gave all that up, so all her children – there are nine of us – and every one of them my parents are so grateful.”

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Quan also noted that his Tumbling co-stars have especially supported his career resurgence. He starred as a crazy inventor named Data in the much-loved 1983 film. Asked what his younger self would find out where he is now, he said: “My younger self wouldn’t know all the battles I went through to be here. He just had the time of his life being a kid, being on a set, being on a pirate ship, going on a water slide. But right before this night started, Corey Feldman, one of my Tumbling brothers, called. I spoke with Kerri Green, and tonight, of course, Jeff Cohen, who is my entertainment attorney (and played Chunk in the movie), is here with me. He was in the audience. I owe them all so much. Every single one of them is so happy. Sean (Astin) reached out, Josh (Brolin), Martha (Plimpton), and we’re always tied. We are family forever. Idiots never say die.”

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