Nearly four decades later, actor Ke Huy Quan is still best known for playing Short Round Temple of death and data in fools– and he Credits Steven Spielberg to each his success.
“He gave me my first job,” Ke Huy Quan said, “And after so many years, he hasn’t forgotten me… Every time I needed help, he was always there.” He revealed that Spielberg continues to send him Christmas presents to this day. I hope it’s not booby-trapped!
Ke Huy Quan continued, “Spielberg was the first person to put an Asian face in a Hollywood blockbuster. Short Round is funny, he’s gritty, he saves Indy’s ass.”
Quan has fond memories of his early days in Hollywood, particularly working with Spielberg and George Lucas. He called being cast a short role in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom “The happiest time of my life” and I said, “Everyone was so friendly. This was the kind of group George and Stephen would run… There was always laughter and peace.” He also compared working on The Goonies, based on Spielberg’s story, to working on a playground every day.
However, in the early 1990s, the actor felt that being an Asian entertainer had major drawbacks, especially since he could not get any work. His last Hollywood movie was 1992’s Encino Man, and for the most part, Ke Huy Quan wasn’t working or only appearing in Hong Kong productions.
Now, Quan appears to be making a major comeback. Not only has he starred in one of the year’s best-reviewed films Everything Everywhere Every Time, but he now has a role in Season 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe including Loki. He will also appear in the Russo Brothers movie electric state.
Ke Huy Quan was also recently Reunion with Indiana Jones Himself, and Harrison Ford, at D23 earlier this year. As it turns out, Ford taught his friend how to swim while filming Temple of death. There is no word on whether they took the plunge together after their reunion.
No word on whether George Lucas also sent Ke Huy Quan Christmas gifts, but… probably not.