The New York Film Critics Circle announced their winners list a few weeks ago but the award ceremony happened last night with several recipients in attendance, including the most awarded actor of the season so far: Ke Huy Quan, named Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Everything Everywhere All At Once.
We’ve been writing a lot about Ke, so by now those of you visiting this site regularly are familiar with his story – he was a child star who couldn’t find work as he aged because of the lack of opportunity in the business for Asian American actors. And he has spoken about how unwanted he felt after those years of rejection.
Now, all these years later, he’s winning everything everywhere and the frontrunner for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. In his acceptance speech, Ke thanked the film’s directors and producer for making this possible:
"As I was walking down the red carpet, a reporter asked me, 'How does it feel?' I couldn't quite articulate how I was feeling, aside from saying, 'It feels incredible.' And I realized I couldn't explain because it was a feeling I hadn’t had for a long, long time. In fact, it was more than 30 years. And it was the same feeling that I had when I was a kid, when I was a working actor. So I just wanted to give a huge shoutout to Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert and our producer, Jonathan Wang, for making me feel like a kid again."
Click here to see the full video of his speech…which began with a shout-out to Jordan Peele. And this is poignant because as I wrote back in November after the Governors Awards, where Ke Huy Quan and Jordan spent a long time talking, Steven Yeun’s character in Nope is believed to be inspired by Ke’s experience in Hollywood. I wondered at the time if in seeing Nope, Ke felt seen himself.
Ke kept it super light though when he referred to Jordan. He was basically joking for a job, noting that Jordan works with people with similar names (Keegan-Michael Key and, of course, Keke Palmer) and maybe Ke Huy Quan could be next. Keke loved it and shared it on Instagram stories:
keke palmer and ke huy quan are so cute ðŸ˜ pic.twitter.com/quSxP6MYeN— â™ï¸Ž (@drivcmycar) January 5, 2023
Ke and Keke? YES PLEASE.
Keke Palmer and Ke Huy Quan friendship was not on the 2023 bingo cardâ€¦. But Iâ€™m here for it! pic.twitter.com/PXYfdyg0pw— keke palmer updates (@kekeupdate) January 5, 2023
And there’s more in common between them than their names. Keke was there as the NYFCC’s Best Supporting Actress. She too was a child star. The work didn’t dry up for her the way it did for Ke but I imagine she can relate to feeling underappreciated and underestimated. And 2022 was, for both of them, a major year. 2023 is looking pretty f-cking stellar too. An Oscar nomination for Ke Huy Quan at this point seems assured. And Keke is booked and busy and expecting her first child. Ke and Keke are everything and everywhere.