Oscar-winning actor Ke Huy Quan sat down with Variety to talk about his childhood in Vietnam, his sudden departure from his homeland, his arrival in the United States, and his first break as Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom at the age of 12. He also spoke about taking a 20 year break from acting when he went to film school and how it made him understand that a movie is the sum of its crew.
I had to make this shift to to do something else. So I went to film school. I graduated and you know when I walked on set it was a different feeling you know. I’m behind the camera now but I was still very happy to be there. I was still happy that I am able to contribute to making movies but because of that experience, now when I walk on a movie set I see everybody. …I hope that because of that experience it made me a better person. It made me a better actor.
We have a seat at the table now. Our voices are being heard. Our faces are being seen. It feels amazing. this is what we wanted for the longest longest time and that’s why I’m so grateful to all those people that came before me. All those struggles that they that they face. I can see them just laying one brick at a time. Paving the road for for all of us to be here and us making history again and again.
Here’s Quan at 12, talking about how lucky he was to get the role in Indiana Jones.
In 1984, 12-year-old child actor Ke Huy Quan spoke to ITN about his experience of auditioning for and being cast in the newest installment of the Indiana Jones franchise, Temple of Doom.