Brendan Fraser & Ke Huy Quan’s Epic Comeback Is 2023’s Ultimate Bromance

95y The annual Academy Awards presented a rare event when two comeback stories reached the Oscars crescendo to the applause of film fans around the world.

Brendan Fraser and Ke Huy Quan, who received Academy Awards for their performances in The Whale and Everything Everywhere All at One (respectively), made their way from near Hollywood oblivion to the catwalk at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theater where they each delivered their honesty. Speeches full of emotions.

Ironically, Frasier and Kwai both appeared in the 1992 comedy Encino ManHowever, their paths to Oscar glory could not be different. However, they share the personal and professional grief of making films where dreams can turn into nightmares, and success one day is not guaranteed to be the next.

“Stories like this only happen in the movies!” Kuai exclaimed proudly as he grabbed his Oscar. Let’s take a look at how the stories of these once-overlooked actors-turned-Oscar-winners came to be.

Brendan Fraser resurfaces with Whale

Throughout the 90’s until the mid 2000’s, Brendan Fraser was a sought-after leading man who managed to star in a wide range of films. Whether it’s a drama like a coming-of-age movie School relations (his breakout role alongside Matt Damon and Chris O’Donnell); Family adventure comedy George of the Jungle; Or as an action star in mummy Franchising, Fraser has delivered the goods consistently without scandal to his name.

Brendan Fraser in George of the Jungle (1997). Photo: Walt Disney Pictures

It was after starring alongside Harrison Ford in the 2010 medical drama exceptional measures That tide had turned for Fraser, with a string of forgettable roles along with a noticeable hiatus in production from the usually prolific star. As a massive man standing at 190cm tall and built like a brick outhouse, Fraser insisted on doing his own stunts, a practice that took a heavy toll on his body.

By the time I did the third mummy picture [released in 2008] Fraser said in an interview GQ. He explained that he then got “just, like, a really geeky geek and fetish about snowpacks. Screw cap snow packs and downhill mountain biking pads,” because they’re small and light and can fit under your clothes.

“I was building an exoskeleton for myself every day.”

Brendan Fraser

Fraser would undergo a series of surgeries over the course of several years. After undergoing a laminectomy (a surgery that creates space by removing bone spurs and osteoarthritis-related tissue in the spine), Fraser will also need a partial knee replacement, more work on his back as several spinal pads pressed together, and even had a Vocal cord repair.

Brendan Fraser in mummy (1999). Photo: Keith Hamsher/Universal Studios

Furthermore, Frasier’s personal life would begin to unravel, resulting in a loss of confidence and crippling depression. There was his 2007 divorce to former actress and mother of his three children, Afton Smith, from which the actor had to pay $900,000 in child support while not making any money from his halted acting career.

Prior to that, an incident occurred at the Beverly Hills Hotel during the summer of 2003, where Fraser attended a luncheon hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization that hosts the Golden Globe Awards. Former HFPA President Philip Burke reached out to shake Fraser’s hand, and according to Burke and Sharon Waxman’s private memoirs, New York times – pinched Fraser’s ass.

Burke said it was a joke, but Fraser said Burke went further. “His left hand reaches around her, grabbing the cheeks of my ass, and one of his fingers touches me in smudges. He begins to move it,” Fraser explained.

“I felt sick. I felt like a little kid. I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry…I became depressed. I was blaming myself and was miserable, because I was like, ‘This is nothing. This guy reached out and picked the feeling.'” That summer continued And I can’t remember what I was working on after that.” Burke, for his part, denied the claim.

Brendan Fraser in Whale (2022). Photo: A24

Fraser said the experience made him withdraw from the audience and turned him into a recluse. Slowly, however, Frasier started to appear on television. First, there was the History Channel series Texas Rising. Then came the TV series, which was directed by Danny Boyle trust about the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, in which Fraser played a prominent role. Fans called it “Brennaissance”.

But Fraser was a movie star and was looking for that role again in the movie, in which he found it Whale, the film directed by Darren Aronofsky in which Fraser portrays Charlie, an obese teacher facing his final days as a recluse. “He’s in pretty bad shape,” Fraser said in an interview. NME.

“And comparing that to myself, yeah. I feel a lot of empathy for someone who’s going through that. So, it’s great. But to put myself in that guy’s shoes… I understand how he feels.”

Brendan Fraser

Ke Huy Quan: The 51-year-old child returnee

Asian American actor Ke Huy Quan first broke out with moviegoers in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom As Short Round, the pint-sized sidekick to adventurous archaeologist Harrison Ford. It was a role that 12-year-old Quan had accidentally taken on since he was initially providing support for his brother David at an audition in Los Angeles. While Quan was training his little brother, he caught the eye of no one but director Steven Spielberg himself, who cast him for the role.

Ke Huy Quan in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984). Image: Paramount

Quan would work for Spielberg again fools1985 adventure film directed by Richard Donner (Superman), in which Quan plays Data, a James Bond fanatic armed with his own handy tools that often fail him. “I was well protected. I was allowed to be a kid,” Kwan said. diverse When he relives his child’s acting experience.

“I thought the path (to acting) would be that easy. But boy, was I wrong.”

Ke Huy Quan

Quan quickly discovered that roles for Asian American actors were few and far between. After finishing high school, Quan faced a steady stream of rejection and worked less. After 10 projects in 16 years, the final straw came in 1993 when Quan found himself auditioning for no-name parts against a room full of Asian actors.

“I remember sitting on the edge of my bed for an hour. I didn’t move. I was just thinking, ‘Wow, what am I doing?'” Quan said in an interview with diverse. “I decided that this is not the way to live.”

Ke Huy Quan in fools (1985). Image: Warner Bros.

Quan would continue to work behind the camera in Asia, where among his many jobs was choreographing stunts and fight sequences with Hong Kong film director Corey Young on films such as the one Starring Jet Li, superhero movie X-Men.

Quan, who is frequently absent from acting in front of the camera, is often reminded of his childhood fame through his many fan encounters. “People would come up to me and say, ‘Oh, my God, you are so creative! Or, how come you don’t act again? I was very good at that as a kid, Kwan explained. Then I’d say, ‘No, it’s done, I’d rather work behind the camera.’ Those were my answers, and I’ve said it many times for many years, I actually believed her.”

After success Crazy Rich AsiansQuan decided it was time to get back into the acting game. At the same time, directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (aka “Daniels”) were also casting their movie Everything everywhere at oncea sci-fi comedy-drama that stars Michelle Yeoh as an overworked Chinese-American mother who comes to discover that she is the savior of a collapsing multiverse.

Ke Huy Quan in Everything everywhere at once (2022). Photo: A24

The part they were struggling with was Waymond Wang, Evelyn’s husband who appears in multiple incarnations in the film, including as a martial arts agent.

“I read the script and I thought the role of Waymond was written for me,” Kwan said in an interview. W Magazine.

“I read it until five, like, I looked out the window and the sun was coming up, and I was imagining all these things that I wanted to put into this character. I was due to go in for an audition that afternoon, so I had to go to bed. But right before I fell asleep I thought, ‘There’s no way I’m being offered this role. It’s too good to be true’.”

“But after my audition, I got a phone call, and I heard the three words every actor wants to hear, which are ‘we want you.’ It was one of the happiest days of my life. I screamed and jumped so high,” Quan shared.

The path to Oscar glory

Ke Huy Quan and Brendan Fraser reunited at the 2023 Academy Awards. Photo: Getty

both of them Everything everywhere at once And Whale It received high notices when it was released on the 2022 festival circuit, particularly towards Quan and Fraser (respectively) who found themselves as bets as awards season got under way.

During the Academy Awards roundtable for Hollywood Reporter, Quan and Fraser will meet for the first time in over 30 years. We go back in the movie called Encino Man In 1991,” Kwan told his shocked classmates, who included fellow Academy Award nominees Colin Farrell and Austin Butler.

“We saw each other there for the first time after all these years, we hugged each other, and he said ‘Ki, we’re still here!’ “

Ke Huy Quan

Kwan and Fraser would go on to see each other at many award ceremonies, both men picking up awards on their way to the Academy Awards, as these two actors who shared the highest levels of work in the film industry would go on to win Oscars. gold.

“Please keep your dreams alive!” Quan exclaimed during his Oscar-filled speech. If Quan and Fraser’s stories are any indication, this is very good advice.

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