How Michelle Yeoh Helped Bring Indiana Jones Breakout Ke Huy Quan Back to the Big Screen

The former child star plays Yeoh's husband in upcoming sci-fi dramedy Everything Everywhere All at Once.

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Ke Huy Quan looks startled in a scene from Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Screenshot: A24

If you haven’t seen the trailer for Everything Everywhere All at Once, you’re missing out on probably the best damn teaser for an upcoming movie, truly. The mind-melting multiverse family dramedy from directing duo Daniels (Swiss Army Man) stars the legendary Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn, a Chinese immigrant thrust into a sci-fi adventure across all the lives she could have led and how they’re connected in the fight of good vs. evil. If that’s not enough for a sign-me-up-right-heckin-now, it should be noted that her co-stars include Jamie Lee Curtis, James Hong, and Ke Huy Quan.

Yes, Data from The Goonies and Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Ke Huy Quan, who’d given up acting due to the lack of opportunities available for Asian American performers... until now. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Quan talked about why the moment felt right for his return, and how the success of Crazy Rich Asians, which just so happens to star Michelle Yeoh, inspired him to call an agent friend and see about reviving his career. “I really credit that movie. It’s such a seminal movie for me. I felt, oh my God, that’s what I want to do...”

And now he’s starring opposite Yeoh. “He stepped out of not being in a movie for about two decades and then coming back to play my husband,” she said to EW. “I was so happy when he was cast because he brought to the character that unassuming gentle husband and then suddenly he turns into this James Bond-like character–or like Bruce Lee. Being with him was so much fun.”


From what we’ve seen of his performance in the trailer, his earnestness as a loving husband quickly flipping to action star with the weaponization of a fanny pack has us game for more. “I mean, Michelle is the reason why I [was] even thinking about getting back into acting in the first place.” Quan said of flexing those chops he gained from a stunt coordinator career working alongside Corey Yuen on films like X-Men and The One.

Daniel Kwan, half of Everything Everywhere All at Once’s directing duo, shared that his light bulb moment to reach out to Quan came from seeing a gif of Short Round on his Twitter timeline. “I was like, he would be the right age. What is that guy up to? He was the first person we auditioned for the role, and he became instantly our favorite,” Kwan said. “He’s a sweetheart who is just full of joy, who just wants to play, who just wants to welcome you into that energy. That’s the person we imagined when we were writing this role.”


The admiration was apparently very mutual. “Honestly, I think the Daniels are freaking geniuses.” Quan shared, “They wrote this beautiful script which, when I first read it, I cried and I laughed harder than [at] any script I’d ever read. I know people say this all the time, but it’s so hard for an original movie to come by, and to a part of this original story, original movie, is just a real blessing.”

After Everything Everywhere All at Once, Quan will reunite with Yeoh on American Born Chinese, Destin Daniel Cretton’s adaptation of the 2006 graphic novel that centers on a teen and his immigrant family getting swept up in a fight among Chinese gods.


A24’s Everything Everywhere All at Once opens March 25th.

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