An emotional Ke Huy Quan heralded his Oscar win as “the American dream” as he spoke about starting his refugee journey on a boat while picking up the award for best actor in a supporting role.
The Vietnamese-American actor, 51, gave a shoutout to his 84-year-old mother watching at home while accepting the Academy Award for his performance in sci-fi thriller Everything Everywhere All At Once.
Quan received a standing ovation as he tearfully addressed the crowd of Hollywood’s finest at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday.
“My mom is 84 years old and she is at home watching. Ma, I just won an Oscar!” he said.
“My journey started on a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp and somehow I ended up here on Hollywood’s biggest stage.
“They say stories like this only happen in the movies.
“I cannot believe this is happening to me – this is the American dream.
“Thank you so much to the academy for the honour of a lifetime.”
Quan has stormed the 2023 awards season, picking up best supporting accolades at almost every major ceremony, and using the opportunity to hail the increasing diversity within the entertainment industry as he became the first Asian man to win in the category of supporting actor for film at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards.
In his Oscars speech, Quan went on to thank his mother, brother and his wife, who he described as “the love of my life”.
He added: “Dreams are something you have to believe in. I almost gave up on mine.”
“To all of you out there, please keep your dreams alive.
“Thank you so much for welcoming me back.”
He stars alongside Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, and Jamie Lee Curtis in Everything Everywhere All At Once.
The latter also nabbed the Oscar for best actress in a supporting role for her performance in Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s film.