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18 November 2022, 14:25
He was a child star that broke into acting almost by chance.
Ke Huy Quan became a world famous child actor after major breakthrough roles in Hollywood hits during the 1980s.
He appeared as 'Short Round' alongside Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, as well as 'Data' in cult favourite The Goonies.
After his initial success at an early age however, Ke Huy was largely forgotten about by the film industry. As he got older, the roles dried up and he eventually quit acting for two decades.
Both films he's most recognised for were directed by Steven Spielberg, who is largely considered to be one of the greatest film directors of all time.
But as the Jaws and Jurassic Park director continued to direct Hollywood blockbusters, he still thought about the child star who he gave his first film role.
In a recent interview, Ke Huy revealed that Spielberg has sent him Christmas gifts every year since they worked together, saying: "he has not forgotten me".
For 38 years since Spielberg directed Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, he has made the caring gesture of sending Christmas presents to Ke Huy and his family.
The actor has made a recent comeback, appearing in the critically acclaimed film Everything Everywhere All At Once.
Discussing his reemergence as awards season sits on the horizon, Ke Huy reflects on Spielberg continually thinking about him despite his bad luck.
"He gave me my first job and, so many years later, he has not forgotten me,” Quan said. "Every time I needed help, he’s always there."
Spielberg helped to make Ke Huy Quan one of the biggest child actors of the decade, firstly with the Indiana Jones films then with The Goonies, and he opened up about his experience.
"On ‘Indiana Jones’ I was the only kid, so I got all of the love and attention," Quan told The Guardian.
"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."
He was also appreciative of Spielberg opening up doors for Asian actors in mainstream cinema, saying: "Spielberg was the first person to put an Asian face in a Hollywood blockbuster."
"Short Round is funny, he’s courageous, he saves Indy’s ass. That was a rarity then. For many years after that, we were back to square one."
The former child star went viral earlier this year after reuniting with his fellow screen adventurer Harrison Ford.
The duo bumped into each other for the first time since their Indiana Jones days at D23, and couldn't resist sending the world wild by posting a picture of them together.
Quan revealed to The New York Times about how it happened, saying: "We’re in this green room with so many actors, producers, and directors, and the person who was assigned to assist me said, ‘Harrison Ford is right outside the green room. Would you want to go say hi?’"
"As I get closer, he turns and points his finger at me, and he has that classic, famous, grumpy Harrison Ford look" Quan continued.
"I go, ‘Oh my gosh, he probably thinks I’m a fan and he’s gonna tell me to not come near him.’ But he looks and points at me and says, ‘Are you Short Round?’"
"Immediately, I was transported back to 1984, when I was a little kid, and I said, ‘Yes, Indy.’ And he said, ‘Come here,’ and gave me a big hug."
A beautiful moment we got were able to share, that put smiles on the faces of Indiana Jones fanatics across the globe.
Heartwarming stories like this and Steven Spielberg's continued kindness that proves Hollywood isn't always as cold and unforgiving as we might usually think.