Ke Huy Quan Has Me Crying In The Club Again

Try not to cry challenge (impossible!)

Want more Junkee in your life? Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so you always know where to find us.

Ke Huy Quan continues to sweep up awards for his role as the achingly lovely Waymond Wang in Everything Everywhere All At Once, and I continue to weep on cue. 

At this point, his speeches should come with a trigger warning for emotional damage. Ke Huy Quan wins big again at the SAG Awards for Male Actor in a Supporting Role. I should’ve known that the guy who can make doing laundry sound like the most romantic thing in the world would make me fold in the middle of a Monday afternoon.

“This is a really emotional moment for me,” he starts. Join the club, sir. “Recently, I was told that if I were to win tonight, I would become the very first Asian actor to win in this category.” This fact itself is enough to make me well up with pride, but as always with Ke, it’s his earnest and emotional delivery that really drives the point home.

Just as I thought I might be getting through this without tears, he took a slightly different approach from his Golden Globes speech that I’m honestly still recovering from. “As I grew older, I started to wonder if that was it,” he confessed during his Globes speech, describing his personal journey back to Hollywood. “For so many years, I was afraid I had nothing more to offer.”

This time on the SAG Awards stage, Quan pointed out how this win meant more than his own individual journey. “I quickly realised that this moment no longer belongs to me — it also belongs to everyone who has asked for change.” He then points out fellow Asian actors being celebrated at the awards, including James Hong, Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Hong Chau, and Harry Shum Jr.

And that’s what really cut deep for me. Ke Huy Quan grew up in a media landscape where Asian characters were frequently tokenised, stereotyped, and discarded. He likely never imagined that Asian characters could be action heroes or romantic leads, let alone form the majority of the cast in a major Hollywood film. “The landscape looks so different now than before,” he notes in his speech. Thanks, in no small part, to movies like EEAAO, and to outstanding performances by actors like Quan.

I can’t imagine a more deserving person to be racking up the awards like goddamn Infinity Stones, as his is right. And I’m grateful that he doesn’t let anyone forget how difficult it was to get here, while still appreciating where we are now. Thank you to Ke, and I’ll be spending the next two weeks emotionally preparing for the Oscars.

Photo credit: Frederic J. Brown / Getty Images