‘Indiana Jones’ star makes comeback – but the last 20 years have been ‘tough’

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

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

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

The Vietnamese native gained fame as a child actor with key roles in projects such as the 1984 Harrison Ford adventure film and 1985 ‘The Goonies’.

“I never thought in my wildest imagination that I would end up becoming an actor,” he said. “But I fell in love with it,” he added, adding that “Indiana Jones” in particular “changed my life and the lives of my entire family.”

Quan first thought he would have a thriving and “amazing” career after filming “The Goonies”. But he found himself landing small roles on television and film, especially those that seemed stereotypical to Asian-American society.

“It was hard,” he remarked. “I was waiting for the phone to ring, and it rarely did.” In 2002, he made the “very difficult decision” to leave Tinseltown for the time being.

Film director Steven Spielberg, right, poses for a photo with, from left to right, Executive Producer George Lucas, actress Kate Capshaw and actor Ke 'Jonathan Huy Quan, to promote their new film' Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom 'ahead .  of the Royal European Charity Premiere in London, UK, Monday, June 11, 1984. (Photo: Bryn Colton / Getty Images)
“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 chose to focus on his education, graduating from USC’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 acting.

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

In “Everything Everywhere All at Once”, Quan portrays three different versions of his character, Waymond Wang, a caring man who tries to help his wife – played by “Crazy Rich Asians” star Michelle Yeoh – save the world when they encounters different alternative 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 do not think I could have played Waymond if you had given me the role 10, 15 years ago. Looking back on my life, all the ups and downs, I reached deep inside me to pour my whole life into these three different characters, “he said.

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

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