Ke Huy Quan’s Emotional Oscars Acceptance Speech Celebrated the American Dream

He took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

Somebody grab the tissues. Ke Huy Quan had disappeared from Hollywood for nearly two decades after he faced a lack of on-camera work for Asian Americans. At the 95th Academy Awards, Quan made an inspiring Hollywood comeback, taking home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Everything, Everywhere All at Once.

Becoming the true definition of not giving up on your dreams, Quan accepted the Oscar on Sunday night for his first film role in 25 years and became the second Asian actor to win in this category in 95 years, joining Haing S. Ngor for The Killing Fields in 1984 (!!!).

As his name was announced, Quan clasped his hands to his mouth and hugged co-stars Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis, who won the Best Supporting Actress honor after him. Taking the stage to accept the honor from Ariana DeBose and Troy Kotsur and receiving a standing ovation, Quan kissed his statue repeatedly and sniffled into the microphone.

Ke Huy Quan Oscars Speech

Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

He began his tearful, emotional acceptance speech by shouting out his 84-year-old mother, who was at home watching her son win his first Oscar.

"Mom, I just won an Oscar!" he said, raising his Oscar, before reflecting on his life. “My journey started on a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp and somehow I ended up here on Hollywood’s biggest stage."

Ke Huy Quan Oscars 2023 Speech

"They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I cannot believe it's happening to me," Quan continued. "This — this — is the American dream!"

Quan won the Oscar over fellow nominees Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan of The Banshees of Inisherin, Brian Tyree Henry of Causeway, and Judd Hirsch of The Fabelmans.

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