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Indiana Jones 2: shorty audition



When a dress can cost you your career. This is what was going to happen to the small (now fifty years old) Ke Huy Quan, during the audition for the second chapter of Indiana Jones, The Temple of Doom. Luckily Steven Spielberg figured it out.

Ke Huy Quan, is the successful child actor who played Shorty in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. A small hiccup during the auditions, “the fault” also of his mother, almost made him risk the role.

Indiana Jones 2 AuditionShorty Indiana Jones 2

Embarrassment is notorious for leaving no way out for an actor, especially a novice. Ke Huy Quan today calmly remembers this embarrassing audition in front of Steven Spielberg which almost cost him the role. But fortunately Spielberg understands good actors “by eye” and gave them (luckily for him) a second chance.

The hearing that makes you smile

Ke Huy Quan now calmly remembers this episode which at that time, especially if you are a child, was not very pleasant. He said that when he showed up in front of Steven Spielberg to audition to play Shorty in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, his understanding of English was almost non-existent.

Between the misunderstanding of what was expected of him, between the too elegant and uncomfortable clothes imposed by his mother, Ke Huy Quan almost made a silent scene. Luckily for him, Steven Spielberg had seen something in him early on, so he asked the boy to come back the next day, dressed the way he wanted. The second chance Spielberg gave him was fully deserved, as Shorty’s character continues to be one of that film’s most beloved members today.

Here are Quan’s words about it: “I remember doing a bad job because my understanding of English was very limited at the time. The next day we received a call from Spielberg’s office. My mom thought it was a very stylish match and put me in this ridiculous three-piece suit. Steven noticed how uncomfortable I was. He said, ‘Ke, I would like you to come back the next day, but wear something comfortable.’

What is Ke Huy Quan doing today?

Ke Huy Quan after his performance in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, had a period away from the stage. After completing his studies, he refined the technique of taekwondo, a sport he learned during scenes in the film with Harrison Ford.

Awkward Audition Ke Huy Quan Indiana Jones 2 Harrison Ford and Ke Huy Quan

Thanks to this study, he became a stunt choreographer for the films X-Men and The One. After an absence of almost twenty years, he returned to the cinema in 2021 in the hit film Finding Ohana and Everything Everywhere All at Once.

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