Harrison Ford is one of the most famously gruff actors in Hollywood. He’s not one to show a lot of emotion or sentimentality, on-screen or off.
It would take something really special to crack a big smile or give some a hug — but that’s just what happened at last night’s Academy Awards.
It was a night of big comebacks and overdue triumphs, with wins for veteran actors Jamie Lee Curtis, Michelle Yeoh, and Brendan Fraser. But it was the Oscar win for Ke Huy Quan for Best Supporting Actor that really had people cheering.
Ke Huy Quan
Quan’s journey to the Oscars stage was this year’s big Hollywood underdog story. The actor, 51, got his start as a child in ’80s blockbuster hits like The Goonies and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, in which he played Short Round.
But Quan struggled to find acting roles as an adult and had a 20-year hiatus from Hollywood. But when he finally returned, it was in the role of a lifetime.
Quan had a major supporting role in the film Everything Everywhere All at Once, one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful films of last year. Critics and fans both singled out Quan as the heart of the film.
Quan’s unlikely comeback became the talk of Hollywood, and during awards season he swept nearly every Best Supporting Actor trophy, culminating in last night’s big Oscar win.
“My journey started on a boat. I ended up in a refugee camp … They say stories like this only happen in the movies,” Quan said. “I cannot believe this is happening to me. This is the American dream!”
‘Indiana Jones’ reunion
His win kicked off a very good night for Everything Everywhere All at Once, which picked up 7 awards, the most of the night. It took home three of the four acting prizes, with wins for Quan’s co-stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Michelle Yeoh, making it one of only three films in history to achieve that feat and the first since 1977.
And at the end of the night, Everything Everywhere… took home the night’s biggest prize, Best Picture. And for Quan, the moment was made even more special by the man who presented it: his old co-star Harrison Ford.
The legendary Indiana Jones star was once again reunited with his Temple of Doom co-star, now all grown up and an Oscar winner. The two actors hugged, and Quan reportedly kissed Ford on the cheek.
For movie fans who caught the moment at home, the significance wasn’t lost, and people were moved to see “Indy and Short Round” together again:
It wasn’t the first time the two had reunited. Last year, Quan opened up about seeing Ford again for the first time in 38 years.
They were both at Disney’s D23 Expo when Quan got a chance to say hi to his old co-star but was unsure if he would even recognize him.
“The last time he saw me, I was a little kid,” Quan told the New York Times’ Kyle Buchanan last year.
“And as I get closer, he turns and points his finger at me, and he has that classic, famous, grumpy Harrison Ford look. I go, ‘Oh my gosh, he probably thinks I’m a fan and he’s gonna tell me to not come near him.’ But he looks and points at me and says, ‘Are you Short Round?’”
“Immediately, I was transported back to 1984, when I was a little kid, and I said, ‘Yes, Indy.’ And he said, ‘Come here,’ and gave me a big hug.”
Friendship with Steven Spielberg
For Quan, it was a night of familiar faces: several of his friends and former co-stars were among the winners and nominees.
Brendan Fraser, who won Best Actor for his role in The Whale, co-starred with Quan in the comedy Encino Man. Fraser’s win, like Quan’s, was also seen as a comeback story for an actor who has struggled to find roles.
And legendary director Steven Spielberg, nominated for several Oscars for his film The Fabelmans, also has a long history with Ke Huy Quan. He directed Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and was also a producer on The Goonies.
Quan has said that Spielberg kept in touch with him in the decades since his time as a child star, and even still sends him Christmas gifts every year.
“He gave me my first job and, so many years later, he has not forgotten me,” Quan told The Guardian. “Every time I needed help, he’s always there.
Spielberg was in attendance and saw the sweet moment his two stars reunited on stage. Spielberg’s wife Kate Capshaw, who also starred in Temple of Doom, was also in attendance and took a photo with Spielberg and Quan.
Congrats to Ke Huy Quan on his well-deserved Oscar win! It was heartwarming to see him reunite with Harrison Ford on the Oscars stage!
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