Hearing her name announced at the 95th Academy Awards on Sunday was “a really special moment” for newly minted Oscar winner Hui Quan – who was advised to change her name early in her career.
Afterwards winning an Oscar for Best Supporting ActorA triumphant Kwan paused near the press room adjacent to the Dolby Theater and recalled his manager once encouraging him to adopt a stage name. The “Everything Everywhere at Once” star was credited as “Jonathan Quan” or “Jonathan K Quan” in some of his early films such as “Breathing Fire” and “Encino Man.”
“When I started out as a kid, it was my real name, Ke Hui Quan, and then I remember, when it got really tough, my manager told me, ‘Maybe it’ll be easier. If you happen to have an American-sounding name,” Kwan told reporters in the press room.
“I was so desperate for a job that I would do anything. And it’s crazy that … I try a different name – not the name I was given – but it can only show you That’s how desperate I was to try and try and try to make things different.”
Kwan won his first Oscar on Sunday evening for his moving role as immigrant father and laundromat owner Waymond Wang in “Everything Everything at Once.” who took home Prestigious Award for Best Picture. During the 2023 awards season, Quan being vocal about Moving away from Hollywood after entering the entertainment industry as a child actor.
Kwan further said, “When I decided to get back into acting … the very first thing I wanted to do was go back to my birth-given name.”
“And tonight, to see Ariana (DeBose) open the envelope and say ‘Ke Hui Quan’… I was so emotional. The first image I had in my mind was my mom… That’s why I’m in America, that’s why I have a better life. I have all these opportunities. … He sacrificed a lot.
Kwan was ecstatic when he arrived in the press room – smiling ear-to-ear, bouncing up and down, waving his Oscar trophy and kissing the crowd before walking off to celebrate.
“wow wow wow!” They said. “You are the most beautiful looking group of people I’ve ever seen. First of all, can you believe I’m holding one of these? … So this is the famous room where all the winners come in. Wow . Greetings! “
The 51-year-old actor gave a nostalgic shoutout to his “Goonies” co-stars nearly four decades after he played Data in the 1980s cult classic film.
“My young self would have no idea of all the struggles I went through to get here because he was just having the time of his life as a kid, on a set… on a pirate ship, on a water Was going down the slide,” Kwan said, recalling his “Goonies” days.
“I love them all so much, and every single one of them was so happy. Sean (Astin) reached out to Josh (Brolin), Martha (Plimpton) — and we bonded forever. Family forever. Hooligans ever.” Don’t say die.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times,