Daily Press (Sunday)

Quan sees dream of joining MCU come true


come up to me and asked ... ‘What do you imagine (Data) doing as an adult?’ This was my answer to those fans.”

Much like O.B., Quan is full of enthusiasm as he shares his thoughts and anecdotes of working on the series and joining the MCU.

For Quan, joining the MCU was at the top of his wish list when he decided to return to acting. He has been a fan of the comic book superhero franchise since 2008’s “Iron Man,” and he thought the first season of “Loki” was one of the best shows he’d ever seen.

He is also a longtime admirer of Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, who he first met when they were both working on “X-Men” (2000), on which Quan was an assistant action choreograp­her and Feige an associate producer.

Quan’s triumphant second act was the Cinderella story of the 2022-2023 awards season. It was shortly after deciding to take another chance at his dream career in front of the camera that Quan landed the role of Waymond Wang in 2022’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” the acclaimed indie darling that went on to sweep the top honors at the Academy Awards.

And it was “Everything Everywhere All at Once” that put Quan on Feige’s radar. Sarah Finn, the casting director on “Loki” who also worked on “Everything Everywhere,” recommende­d

Quan for the role of O.B. after seeing the film at a cast and crew screening.

A heads up from his agent to expect a call from Feige had Quan nervous and excited — could this be the call about joining the MCU? He was driving when the phone rang. It was Feige, who started by telling Quan about how much he enjoyed “Everything Everywhere.”

“Finally he says, ‘Ke, I would love for you to join our MCU family,’ ” says Quan. “I started getting emotional. My eyes started welling up with tears and I couldn’t see (so) I had to pull over and put the car in park. And I said ‘Kevin, please ask me again, what did you just say?’ ”

As is the establishe­d precedent of high-profile franchise projects, Quan’s involvemen­t and role was kept under close wraps for quite awhile. It was four months into shooting in London when Feige visited the “Loki” set and invited Quan to join returning cast members at the 2022 D23 Expo to make it official.

Quan is all smiles as he mentions, again, that talking about “Loki” is incredible.

“I’ve waited a long time, patiently, to talk about this,” he says. “This is a show that I’m very proud of and to share my feelings on the show gives me a lot of joy.”

Quan had to wait longer than usual to speak about his experience­s on “Loki” because the series premiered during the recent actors strike.

“The strike was really important,” says Quan. “It was important for our union to get a fair deal for all of our members. I’m very thankful to the negotiatin­g committee; they did an outstandin­g job.”

But one thing the strike enabled Quan to do was look back and process his whirlwind year since the premiere of “Everything Everywhere.”

“A lot of stuff was a blur,” says Quan. “Luckily, I took a lot of pictures.”

For Quan, everything has felt new this time around. Although his first go at acting was launched when he was a child with roles in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984) and “The Goonies,” the opportunit­ies back then were much more limited. So when he decided to pursue acting again, the thought of getting any award was inconceiva­ble.

But then “Everything Everywhere” was released and he saw how audiences responded to the film. And now, he has an Oscar and filmmakers reaching out about working with him.

“It’s an incredible feeling to be in a position where people want to work with you rather than being in a room, desperatel­y trying to persuade them to give you a chance, persuade them to believe in you,” says Quan. “Every time I think back about everything that’s happened so far, it puts a big smile on my face.”

Still, Quan says it was a bit intimidati­ng to join “Loki” because most of the cast and crew were returning from Season 1. But Tom Hiddleston welcomed him with a big hug and he quickly was able to feel like a member of the “Loki” family.

“I had the most amazing time working with everybody,” says Quan, who adds that the experience didn’t feel like work. “In fact, I had such a wonderful time that I didn’t want the shoot to end.”

Although the dream job has ended for now, Quan is hopeful about the future. While Quan has no planned additional MCU appearance­s in the works, he says Feige did tease that the opportunit­y was not definitive­ly a one-off. And with the strike over, he is also looking forward to getting back to work.

One thing Quan has taken away from his time on “Loki” is the excitement and love Hiddleston approached the character with every day even after playing him for more than a decade.

“It was really inspiring,” says Quan. “I want to walk on every set with the sense of gratitude, with the sense of excitement that I had when I did ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once.’ ”

 ?? MARVEL/DISNEY+ ?? Ke Huy Quan plays the enthusiast­ic TVA repair guy Ouroboros in the second season of “Loki.”
MARVEL/DISNEY+ Ke Huy Quan plays the enthusiast­ic TVA repair guy Ouroboros in the second season of “Loki.”

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