After Ke Huy Quan decided to give acting another try, he signed with a new agent. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” was the first script that came to him. “For the longest time, all I wanted was just a job,” Quan told AP. “Just an opportunity to act, to show people what I can do.” When the project wrapped in 2020, Quan was about to lose his health insurance. He begged his agent for auditions, but he wasn’t having any luck, per Deadline. “I even made a joke, saying, ‘Hey, nobody wants to hire me except Spielberg, George Lucas, Wong Kar-wai, and the Daniels (“EEAAO” directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert),” he said.
The film topped the 2023 Oscar nominations with 11 nods, including one for Quan and one each for his co-stars Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, and Jamie Lee Curtis, respectively. The runaway hit grossed over $105 million worldwide and garnered rave reviews. In their profile of Quan, GQ wrote of his performance, “[He serves] as the beating heart of this relentless tornado of a movie.”
Quan kept the film a secret from his entire family, except his wife. On an episode of the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast, Quan admitted, “I was so afraid. I didn’t know if I was gonna be any good at it.” The day before the movie’s trailer dropped, he called his mom and their family, and said, “Hey, I got a little bit of news to share with you … I’m an actor now.”