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Oscar winner Ke Huy Quan was overjoyed as his ‘birth name’ was read aloud in Dolby

Hearing his name announced at the 95th Academy Awards on Sunday was “a really special moment” for newly named Oscar winner Ke Huy Quan, who was advised early in his career to change his name. .

After winning the best supporting actor Oscar, a triumphant Quan stopped in the press room adjacent to the Dolby Theater and recalled that his manager once encouraged him to adopt a stage name. The “Everything Everywhere All at Once” star was credited as “Jonathan Quan” or “Jonathan Ke Quan” in some of his early films, including “Breathing Fire” and “Encino Man.”

“When I started as a kid, it was my real name, Ke Huy Quan, and then I remember, when it got really tough, my manager said, ‘Maybe it would be easier if you had an American sound. name,’” Quan told reporters in the newsroom.

“I was so desperate for a job that I would do anything. And she’s crazy that…I’d try a different name, not the name I was given, but she just goes to show how desperate she was to try and try to do things differently.”

Quan won his first Oscar on Sunday night for his poignant role as immigrant father and laundromat owner Waymond Wang in “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which took home the coveted best picture award. Throughout the 2023 awards season, Quan has been outspoken about being turned down by Hollywood after entering the entertainment industry as a child actor.

“When I decided to go back to acting…the first thing I wanted to do was go back to my birth name,” Quan continued.

“And tonight, to see Ariana (DeBose) open that envelope and say, ‘Ke Huy Quan’… I got really emotional. The first image I had in my mind was my mom… who is the reason I am in America, she is the reason I have a better life. I have all these opportunities. … She sacrificed so much.”

Quan was ecstatic when he arrived in the press room: grinning from ear to ear, jumping up and down, holding up his Oscar trophy and blowing kisses to the crowd before heading off to celebrate.

“Wow wow wow!” he exclaimed. “You are the most beautiful looking group of people I have ever seen. First off, can you believe I’m holding one of these? … So this is the famous room where all the winners come. Wow. Hello!”

The 51-year-old actor also gave a nostalgic salute to his “Goonies” co-stars nearly four decades after playing Data in the 1980s cult classic.

“The younger me wouldn’t know all the struggles I went through to be here because he was having the time of his life being a kid, being on a set… on a pirate ship, going down a water slide.” Quan said as he reminisced about his “Goonies” days.

“I love them all so much, and every single one of them was so happy. Sean (Astin) came up, Josh (Brolin), Martha (Plimpton), and we’re always together. Family is forever. Goonies never say die.