Golden Globes 2023: Ke Huy Quan addresses his child star past in emotional speech

The actor won an award for Everything Everywhere All at Once, decades after his breakout performance in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Ke Huy Quan delivered an emotional speech from the stage of the Golden Globes after his Best Supporting Actor win. (NBC/Getty)
Ke Huy Quan delivered an emotional speech from the stage of the Golden Globes after his Best Supporting Actor win. (NBC/Getty)

Everything Everywhere All at Once star Ke Huy Quan thanked Steven Spielberg and referred to his child star past in an emotional acceptance speech at the Golden Globes.

Quan first rose to fame as a 12-year-old when he played Indiana Jones's sidekick Short Round in the 1984 sequel Temple of Doom.

Read more: Ke Huy Quan reveals what made him return to acting

He subsequently played Data in The Goonies, before dropping out of the acting business in the 1990s when career opportunities dried up.

But he made his triumphant big screen return in 2022 as the multiple multiversal variants of Waymond Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once, for which he won Best Supporting Actor at Tuesday's awards ceremony.

Ke Huy Quan appears alongside Michelle Yeoh and Stephanie Hsu in Everything Everywhere All at Once. (A24)
Ke Huy Quan appears alongside Michelle Yeoh and Stephanie Hsu in Everything Everywhere All at Once. (A24)

In the film, Waymond is the devoted husband to Michelle Yeoh's protagonist, as well as her guide to the multiverse and her destiny as a hero as Alpha-Waymond.

He beat out the likes of Brad Pitt, Brendan Gleeson and Eddie Redmayne to win the Golden Globe with his first nomination.

Read more: Full list of winners from the Golden Globes 2023

Taking to the stage, he said: "I was raised to never forget where I came from and to always remember who gave me my first opportunity. I am so happy to see Steven Spielberg here tonight. Steven, thank you.

"When I started my career as a child actor in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, I felt so very lucky to have been chosen. As I grew older, I started to wonder if that was it... if that was just luck.

Ke Huy Quan said he thought playing Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom would be the peak of his career. (Paramount)
Ke Huy Quan said he thought playing Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom would be the peak of his career. (Paramount)

"For so many years, I was afraid I had nothing more to offer, that no matter what I did, I would never surpass what I achieved as a kid.

"Thankfully, more than 30 years later, two guys thought of me. They remembered that kid, and they gave me an opportunity to try again.

Read more: Ke Huy Quan shares sweet reunion moment with Harrison Ford

"Everything that has happened since has been unbelievable. [Everything Everywhere directors] Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, thank you so much for helping me find my answer. You have given me more than I could have ever hoped."

Emotional viewers watching the Globes were quick to praise Quan for his raw and honest speech about his career.

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Quan's career comeback is set to continue apace in the coming years, starting with a role in the cast of Marvel TV show Loki for its second season.

He will also appear on Disney+ in the TV adaptation of the graphic novel American Born Chinese, which consists of three separate but ultimately interlinked stories.

Read more: Michelle Yeoh discusses being a film star at 60

Quan's co-star Michelle Yeoh also bagged the award for Best Actress - Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes, capping off a great night for Everything Everywhere All at Once.

The film was also nominated for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, but lost out to The Banshees of Inisherin.

Watch: Trailer for Everything Everywhere All at Once