‘I didn’t go looking to be an actor’: Ke Huy Quan recalls ‘Indiana Jones’ casting

‘I didn’t go looking to be an actor’: Ke Huy Quan recalls ‘Indiana Jones’ casting
Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images
Chandler Treon
February 14, 2023
Ke Huy Quan spoke about his unlikely casting as Short Round in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” in a new interview.
“I didn’t go looking to be an actor,” the 54-year-old actor explained to Deadline. “I was just like a normal kid, going to school every day at my elementary school, 12 years old at that time.”
According to Quan, director Steven Spielberg almost removed Short Round from the 1984 film after failing to find an actor for the role.

I immigrated here to Los Angeles in 1979, and four years later, as fate would have it, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas was looking for a Chinese kid to be Short Round. And they went everywhere looking for him. Couldn’t find him, almost gave up the role, when they decided to have an open call in Chinatown, Los Angeles.

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Quan revealed it was his brother who had gone to audition for the role while he tagged along as support.

My brother went to audition. I tagged along, and I was coaching him what to do behind the camera. The casting director saw me, and asked me if I’m interested in reading for him, and I said yes. The next day, we got that fateful call from Steven Spielberg’s office.

The actor reunited with his co-star Harrison Ford after 38 years at Disney’s D23 Expo in September 2022.
Quan shared the moment on his Instagram, writing: “‘I love you, Indy.’ Indiana Jones and Short Round reunited after 38 years.”
Quan said he also ran into “Indiana Jones” producer Kathleen Kennedy at the event and joked about his character’s absence from the newest installment of the franchise.
“I ran up to [Kathleen Kennedy] and said, ‘Oh my god, Indy five would have been so much better had Short Round been in it!'” he told Deadline. “And of course that was a joke, but she was so gracious. She said, ‘Ke, what you have now is even better.'”
Kennedy was likely referring to Quan’s historic run as this awards season’s most-honored actor, including a Golden Globe win for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture and an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, all of which have been for his performance as Waymond Wang in A24’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

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