Ke Huy Quan’s win for best male actor in a supporting role at the Screen Actors Guild Awards was a heartwarming moment, given his comeback in the film “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” By winning the award, he also made history as the first Asian male actor to do so at the annual guild ceremony.
Ke Huy Quan’s win at the annual guild ceremony marks the first time an Asian male actor has won a film acting award since the inception of the event in 1994. He is also the second Asian actor to win an individual SAG award in either film or television, following Lee Jung-Jae’s win for male actor in a drama series for “Squid Game” the previous year.
In the sci-fi film “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” Mei, a modestly retired janitor, is the main character. One day, she finds herself unexpectedly forced to travel through several realms and parallel universes in order to save her daughter’s life. Mei encounters a variety of interesting and unusual people along the road, some of them are alternate realities versions of her. As the plot develops, Mei learns that she is uniquely connected to a potent force that controls the multiverse as a whole and that she might be the only one capable of averting a threat that could wipe out everything.
During his acceptance speech, Quan became emotional and shared that he had only recently learned that he would be the first Asian male film winner. He expressed that this moment belongs not just to him but to everyone who has fought for change, saying, “When I stepped away from acting, it was because there were so few opportunities.” Quan then looked out to the audience and acknowledged his fellow nominees, including co-stars Michelle Yeoh and Stephanie Hsu, and noted that the entertainment industry has evolved significantly. He thanked everyone in the room for their contribution to these changes.
Addressing the actors watching the ceremony from home, he encouraged them to persevere, saying, “Please continue to pursue your dreams because one day, the spotlight will shine on you.”
Ke Huy Quan’s portrayal of Waywond Wang, the timid and comical husband who embarks on a journey with his wife Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) to rescue the multiverse, has received numerous industry recognitions, such as the Golden Globe and Critics Choice awards. His performance is considered the leading contender for the Oscar in his category.
Assuming that Ke Huy Quan wins the Oscar, he would become the second Asian actor ever to win in the supporting actor category, following Haing S. Ngor’s win for “The Killing Fields” in 1984. In the entire 95-year history of the Academy Awards, only five actors of Asian descent have won Oscars in any of the four categories. Ben Kingsley for “Gandhi” and F. Murray Abraham for “Amadeus” won for Best Actor, Miyoshi Umeki for “Sayonara” and Yuh-Jung Youn for “Minari” won for Supporting Actress, and the aforementioned Ngor won for Supporting Actor.
Apart from Quan, there are other Asian nominees at this year’s ceremony. Quan’s co-stars in “Everything Everywhere,” Michelle Yeoh and Stephanie Hsu, have been nominated for lead and supporting actress roles, respectively. Yeoh is the second Asian woman to be nominated for a lead role since Ziyi Zhang in “Memoirs of a Geisha” in 2005. Moreover, Hong Chau, who is nominated for “The Whale,” shares the same category as Hsu, making it the first time in SAG history that two Asians have been nominated in the same category.
The movie “Everything Everywhere All at Once” has received 11 Oscar nominations, including a nomination for Best Picture. The final voting for the Oscars is set to begin on March 2nd.
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