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How do you pronounce Ke Huy Quan?

Let's solve this once and for all.

Ke Huy Quan in a black blazer, orange shirt, and standing in front of a black backdrop on the red carpet
Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Everybody loves a good comeback story, and few measure up to Ke Huy Quan’s

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Before nabbing the role of Waymond Wong in Everything Everywhere All At Once at the age of 50, Quan was a child actor well on his way to a thriving and lucrative acting career in Hollywood. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Ke Huy Quan emigrated to the U.S. with his family as a young child, and grew up mostly in California. His very first acting role was as a pre-teen in 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The next year, Steven Spielberg recruited him for The Goonies. What should have come next was a stream of opportunities, but instead, the dust settled on Quan’s childhood fame, and Hollywood left him out in the heat. 

After crawling through a sea of mediocre opportunities until 1993, Quan eventually decided enough was enough. The struggle did not outweigh the benefit, and watching his non-Asian colleagues enjoy an endless stream of auditions and offers became too much to endure. Quan settled for any behind-the-camera work, mostly in small Asian films, and said goodbye to his acting career. 

That is, until directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert offered him the part of Everything Everywhere All At Once. The role has turned Quan into the movie star he was always meant to be, scoring him the Oscar for best supporting actor and a pipeline of projects that seek to make up for the years of drought. 

Now, Quan is entering the most profitable franchise in all of Hollywood, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as the character O.B. in Loki season 2

Given all that, you’d think we’d know how to pronounce his name by now. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. In one interview after the next, Quan’s name consistently gets mispronounced. So, let’s solve this issue once and for all. 

Here’s how you pronounce Key Huy Quan’s name correctly

The first and last parts of Quan’s name are relatively straightforward. We know Ke is pronounced “Key,” as in a key to a door, and we know Quan is pronounced “Kwan.” But what about Huy? That’s the name that most often trips people up. 

Quan addressed this all-important question in an interview on the red carpet of the Unforgettable Gala in 2023. The reporter, Steven Lim, asks Quan how to pronounce his name correctly in its entirety, to which the Academy Award-winning actor obliged. The reporter does stumble a bit, and pronounces it slightly different than what Quan says — but that’s understandable, we’ve all been there, no judgment. So, let’s do this as a team, all right?

For the record, it’s not “Whey,” it’s not “Whoy,” and no, it’s not “He.” The correct pronunciation of the thespian’s full name, phonetically, is Key-Hoo-ee-Kwan. 

Names are a vital aspect of who we are, and when names get mispronounced on a regular basis it can have a profound effect on mental wellbeing. Names are intrinsically linked to our identity, so choosing to learn the correct pronunciation of someone like Quan’s is not only a sign of respect, but also an act of kindness.