Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Ke Huy Quan Emphasizes The Importance Of AAPI Representation As He Celebrates His First Oscar Nod

The Oscar nominations have just been announced, and leading the charge is none other than "Everything Everywhere All at Once" with a whopping 11 nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. Additionally, all main cast members – Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Ke Huy Quan — received nominations. These nominations are extremely notable when it comes to Asian representation at the Academy Awards, as it's no secret that the Academy has tended to leave out artists of color over the years.

For example, Yeoh is the first self-identifying Asian lead actress nominee ever, and second overall, as Merle Oberon received a nomination in 1939 for "The Dark Angel" but had concealed her heritage (via Deadline). And if Yeoh wins, she will become only the second woman of color to win in the category, following Halle Berry's win for 2001's "Monster's Ball." Further, Hsu is nominated in the best supporting actress category alongside Hong Chau for "The Whale," marking the first time that two Asian actresses have been nominated in the same year in this category (via Deadline). Overall, it's the most nominations for Asian actors in any one year.

For Quan, who is also celebrating his own nominations, the weight of these historic nominations is not lost on him. Following the announcement of his nomination, the actor spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about what the film's 11 nominations mean for the AAPI community.

Quan hopes the EEAAO nominations will lead to more nominations for the AAPI community

During the interview with The Hollywood Reporter, interviewer Ashley Cullins asked Ke Huy Quan what it feels like to be a part of this moment where history has been made in regard to how many Asian actors received nominations this year.

Quan said, "This is a big moment not just for us and our movie, but for the entire AAPI community. For the longest time, you don't see a lot of Asian actors get nominated." The actor then pointed out that it's been nearly three full decades since the last time an Asian actor won in the best supporting actor category when Haing S. Ngor won for his role in "The Killing Fields" in 1984. The actor continued, "It feels so great for us to have the 11 nominations, and get all these acting nominations. I hope that this is the beginning of more to come. I hope that our entire community sees this and sees this is possible moving forward. That's why representation is so important."

As much as these nominations mean a great deal on a grand scale, Quan also opened up about what his nomination means to him personally, especially after taking such a long break from acting. The newly Oscar-nominated actor said to THR, "It's a dream that only existed in my imagination for the longest time. When I had to step away, that dream dissipated. It was so far away that I didn't think one day it would make its way back. And it did. And it happened today. I never thought that my name would have the prefix 'Oscar-nominated actor.' What an incredible day this is."

The Academy Awards will air on March 12, 2023.