‘Indiana Jones’ star makes comeback — but last 20 years were ‘tough’

“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” star Ke Huy Quan is back on the big screen after two decades away from the spotlight.

The 51-year-old took a 20-year break from Hollywood following several years of hit blockbusters.

Quan opened up to People about why he decided to return to acting so much later in the new, hit indie flick “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

The Vietnam native achieved fame as a child actor with pivotal roles in projects such as the 1984 Harrison Ford adventure film and 1985’s “The Goonies.”

“Never in my wildest imagination did I think I would end up being an actor,” he said. “But I fell in love with it,” adding that “Indiana Jones,” in particular, “changed my life and my entire family’s life.”

Quan first thought he would have a flourishing and “amazing” career after he filmed “The Goonies.” However, he found himself landing small roles on TV and film, especially ones that seemed stereotypical of the Asian-American community.

“It was tough,” he noted. “I was waiting for the phone to ring, and it rarely did.” By 2002, he made the “very difficult decision” to exit Tinseltown for the time being.

“Indiana Jones” director Steven Spielberg (far right) poses with executive producer George Lucas (far left), actress Kate Capshaw and Ke Huy Quan in 1984.
Bryn Colton

He opted to focus on his education, graduating from the University of Southern California’s film school and working behind the scenes as an assistant director and stunt coordinator.

In 2018, he saw “Crazy Rich Asians” and felt motivated to get back into the acting game.

“I was happy working behind the camera, but I had serious FOMO,” Quan explained. “I wanted to be up there with my fellow Asian actors!”

In “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Quan portrays three different versions of his character, Waymond Wang, a caring husband who tries to help his wife — played by “Crazy Rich Asians” star Michelle Yeoh — to save the world as they encounter different alternate universes.

When Quan read the script, he “thought it was written for me because they are me,” he told People.

“I understood every single one of them. I don’t think I could have played Waymond had you given me the role 10, 15 years ago. Looking back upon my life, all the highs and lows, I reached deep within me to pour my entire life into these three different characters,” he said.

“For many, many years, people recognized me only as a child [actor] because that was pretty much the last time they saw me up on the screen,” he continued. “I’m hoping when people see me now they go, ‘Oh my God! Waymond from “Everything Everywhere All at Once” — and you were also in “Indiana Jones” [and] “Goonies”’!”


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