SAG Awards nominee profile: Ke Huy Quan (‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’) can make history as first Asian male film winner

In 2021, former child star Ke Huy Quan (1984’s “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and 1985’s “The Goonies”) ended his two-decade acting hiatus by appearing in the Netflix movie “Finding ‘Ohana.” He then took on his ninth feature film role in “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which has made him one of the season’s most-lauded individuals. His next industry stop is the Screen Actors Guild Awards, where he stands a strong chance of achieving both supporting actor and ensemble victories.

Along with “The Banshees of Inisherin” pair Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan, Quan is one of three overall SAG Awards newcomers in this year’s supporting actor lineup. They and fellow nominee Paul Dano (“The Fabelmans”) are also going against each other in the ensemble category, where Dano previously triumphed as part of the cast of 2006’s “Little Miss Sunshine.” The last supporting slot is filled by Eddie Redmayne (“The Good Nurse”), who won for his lead turn in 2014’s “The Theory of Everything” and took the ensemble prize for 2020’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

In “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Quan plays laundromat owner Waymond Wang, who has long since grown apart from his wife and business partner, Evelyn (lead nominee Michelle Yeoh). Just as he finally musters up the courage to confront Evelyn about their marriage’s imminent collapse, the two of them get sucked into a convoluted multiverse adventure initiated by their dejected daughter, Joy (supporting contender Stephanie Hsu).

SEE Full list of SAG Awards nominations

Quan, who was born in Vietnam to Chinese parents, would be the first Asian winner of either individual male SAG Award category. At this point, the only such victor on the female side is Korean supporting actress winner Yuh-Jung Youn (“Minari”), but she could soon be joined by Yeoh and Hsu. The only other Asian men who have competed in supporting actor are Ben Kingsley (2000’s “Sexy Beast”), Ken Watanabe (2003’s “The Last Samurai”) and Dev Patel (2008’s “Slumdog Millionaire” and 2016’s “Lion”). Until this year, Watanabe was the category’s only nominee who was born in Asia (specifically Japan), as Kingsley and Patel were both born in England to Indian families.

Quan could also be the 17th person and ninth man to receive individual and ensemble SAG Awards for the same film. The five featured fellows who will have preceded him in this regard are Ed Harris (1995’s “Apollo 13”), Javier Bardem (2007’s “No Country for Old Men”), Christoph Waltz (2009’s “Inglourious Basterds”), Sam Rockwell (2017’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) and Troy Kotsur (2021’s “CODA”). If he, Yeoh and Hsu (or their castmate and Hsu’s challenger Jamie Lee Curtis) all prevail individually and collectively, theirs will be the first film to ever win four SAG Awards.

This article is a part of Gold Derby’s “SAG Awards nominee profile” series spotlighting the 2023 contenders in film and TV.

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