Boy do I love to cry tears of joy over the recent successes of both Brendan Fraser and Ke Huy Quan. As a product of the ’90s, a lot of my childhood was spent watching Fraser movies or rewatching The Goonies and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, so Quan and Fraser were two icons I loved a lot. Like many others, I wondered where the two went as I got older. Luckily, 2022 brought them both back to us in big ways!

It also reminded us where they both went. In 2018, Fraser shared that he felt “blacklisted” from Hollywood when he refused to take a “joke” from then-president of the HFPA Philip Berk, who allegedly sexually assaulted the actor in 2003. That story inspired so many of us to share our love for Fraser and our hope that he’d return to acting—which he has done with his roles in Doom Patrol and in last year’s The Whale. But it is with the Darren Aronofsky film that Fraser is finally receiving praise and awards recognition.

As for Quan, he was a staple of movies in the ’80s and early ’90s. Data, Short-Round—when you hear or think of quotes from these characters, you can only hear them in Ke Huy Quan’s voice. They’ve remained favorites for so many viewers. After that fame came a long break in Quan’s career; he did not see a place for himself in Hollywood and left, for the most part. But seeing Crazy Rich Asians showed him that he could still make a name for himself in this business and that is why he went out for the part in Everything Everywhere All at Once, and we’re all the better for it.

So why talk about the two of them together? Well, because they made me cry.

From Encino Man to now

During an actors’ roundtable for The Hollywood Reporter, Quan brought up how he had worked with Fraser way back in the ’90s in Encino Man. Fraser responded, “We’re still here,” which prompted Quan to recount a story. The two saw each other before the roundtable began and gave each other a hug. Fraser said to Quan, “Ke, we’re still here,” and after the struggles that Fraser went through in Hollywood and Quan’s own abandoning of his career, it’s an emotional moment.

The success of both Quan and Fraser in this awards season is something I think many are rooting for. We’re not often this invested in who wins because it is usually more of the same old song and dance. But with these two, it’s different. We all loved them, we missed them, and now they’re back. And I’m so happy for it.

A ’90s kid’s delight

Seeing Fraser and Quan get recognized for their work in 2022 is … really emotional? We all grew up loving their movies, but neither Fraser nor Quan have ever really been recognized in this way by their peers. I didn’t know it would be possible to see Brendan Fraser taking home the Oscar for Best Actor, standing next to Best Supporting Actor winner Ke Huy Quan.

And now it is all I want. They both deserve it, and they are both seemingly so humbled by the love they’ve received. Seeing both Fraser and Quan end this awards season standing with each other and holding their respective Academy Awards? Perfection.

I hope that this is just the start for them and we will see both Fraser and Quan continue to meet up at these roundtables and maybe even work together again. It’s what they both deserve.

(featured image: Buena Vista Pictures)

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Rachel Leishman

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