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Ke Huy Quan Compares Working On The Goonies To Going To A Playground

During the '80s, movies that focused on children, such as "The Neverending Story," 'Stand by Me," and "The Goonies," allowed younger audiences to become engaged in fantasy, drama, and adventure. Directed by Richard Donner, who would go on to helm the "Lethal Weapon" action franchise, "The Goonies" fired on all cylinders when it came to telling a grand story with mind-blowing set pieces for the era, and according to Roger Ebert, its "slice-of-life" qualities. The movie's acting by a group of child and teen actors who would become familiar faces of the era was also a standout.

The cast included Josh Brolin (Brand), Sean Astin (Mikey), Martha Plimpton (Stef), Kerri Green (Andy), Jeff Cohen (Chunk), Corey Feldman (Mouth), and Ke Huy Quan in the role of Data. Quan's work as part of a dynamic ensemble in Richard Donner's action-adventure movie immediately followed his role as "Short Round" in the second "Indiana Jones" film. Unlike in the Steven Spielberg-directed outing, his work on Donner's film would find the actor amid a large group of fellow child and adolescent actors. This working environment led Ke Huy Quan to describe his time spent on the set of the film as similar to going to a playground each day.

Ke Huy Quan says he had to fight for attention amongst his co-stars on The Goonies

In an interview with The Guardian reflecting on his time working on "The Goonies" in the mid-'80s, Ke Huy Quan stated, "On 'Indiana Jones' I was the only kid, so I got all of the love and attention." Continuing, he explained, "On 'The Goonies,' I was one of seven, so I was constantly fighting for attention. But it was something that was very familiar to me –- my parents had nine kids. It was a lot of fun, especially those amazing sets. Going to work was like going to the playground." But despite the unruly nature of the set amongst his adolescent peers, Quan also shared with the publication how he, Sean Astin, Corey Feldman, and other co-stars still get together occasionally.

Even with the movie's positive working environment, in an earlier interview with Yahoo Entertainment in April 2022, Quan acknowledged that his two memorable '80s characters are something he is very proud of despite the assessment over the years that has labeled the roles as Asian stereotypes.

When discussing the issue, the actor mentioned his role in "The Goonies" by observing, "And Data is one of the gang and has these amazing gadgets." He then added, "Of course, having said that, over the years Hollywood's portrayal of Asians hasn't been all that great..." Quan then discussed his struggles in trying to find acting work after his role as Data up until the present day. After watching the immensely successful "Crazy Rich Asians," Quan admits to having developed a new drive and passion for acting (per Yahoo Entertainment). He has since played parts in "Finding 'Ohana" and "Everything Everywhere All at Once." He will also appear in Season 2 of Marvel's "Loki" (per IMDb).