The 2022 Gotham Awards, a celebration of independent film, were held on November 28th. Among the spectacular talent honored was former child star and absolute treasure Ke Huy Quan. Quan, who most film aficionados would know as Short Round in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and Data in “The Goonies,” has been at the forefront of the zeitgeist following his appearance in “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” The Gotham Awards honored Quan with the award for Outstanding Supporting Performance for the A24 film, which also won for Best Feature Film.
In an emotional acceptance speech, Quan noted that for him, at “this time last year, all I wanted was a job.” This film marks Quan’s return to acting after a 20 year hiatus following his roles in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and “The Goonies.” Oftentimes as it is in independent films, actors who otherwise wouldn’t get a “chance find their opportunities,” Quan said. “I was that actor.”
Quan directly shouts out the directing duo The Daniels- Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert– as well as their producer Jonathon Wong, for giving him a second chance at his acting dreams. Those dreams may just be beginning. The Gotham Awards are only the start of awards season, and we wouldn’t be surprised if more accolades are in Quan’s future. At the very least, we hope this will mean more films featuring his tremendous talent.
Quan was not the only big winner at the Gotham awards last night. Other notable winners included Danielle Deadwyler, who won the award for Best Leading Performance for her work as a grieving mother in “Till.” The Gothams do not separate their acting categores by gender, which meant that Deadwyler not only competed with the likes of Cate Blanchett in “Tár,” but that she also beat out contenders such as Brendan Fraser in “The Whale,” and Paul Mescal in “Aftersun.”
“Tár” won an award for its screenplay, while Charlotte Wells picked up a breakthrough director prize for her work on “Aftersun,” a semi-autobiographical look at her troubled relationship with her father. These stories all show the power that independent films carry when blockbusters can otherwise crowd out smaller studios.
If you haven’t checked out any of the nominees we highlight recommend them, but in the meantime, watch Quan’s full speech below.