'Encino Man' May Have Multiple Alumni At The Oscars Besides Brendan Fraser
The path to Oscar gold runs through Pauly Shore.
Brendan Fraser has been drawing serious awards buzz for his heartbreaking performance as a 600 pound man who tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, but the star is more excited for another possible Oscar recipient – his former Encino Man castmate, Ke Huy Quan, is a popular name for a possible Best Supporting Actor nomination in recognition of his performance in the hit action/sci-fi/comedy film Everything Everywhere All at Once.
With Fraser in line for a nod in the Best Actor category, there is a distinct, non-zero possibility that the men’s acting awards at this year’s Oscars will be swept by the cast of a comedy that dared to ask the question, “What if you brought a caveman to prom?”
Fraser spoke to EW about the awards circuit reunion between himself and Quan, and he expressed effusive praise for the Michelle Yeoh vehicle that has brought the former child actor back into the spotlight. Said Fraser, “I saw Everything Everywhere All at Once, and I was like, 'This is the most awesome movie that's ever been made.' I love this picture. I love Michelle (Yeoh) in this; she's an old friend, and (when I saw it) I went, hang on, I know him," speaking of Quan, who played Yeoh’s husband, and ass-kicking accomplice in the manic multiverse hit.
Fraser is relieved to see his former castmate getting work in a dramatically different cultural moment than one when the Vietnam-born star was forced to conform to Anglo-friendly conventions – Quan previously donned the first name “Jonathan” for reasons that Fraser finds unacceptable. "His name wasn't Ke in the days that I knew him, for reasons we just don't abide by any longer," said Fraser, "Some agent told him that no one would understand (his name) or whatever. We don't get to do that anymore. He is who he is.”
Both Fraser and Quan have overcome significant obstacles to reach the “Encino Manaissance,” and Fraser expressed his gratitude for the strides both have made, saying, “The journey that he's taken to come to this place has given him, I think, the role of his lifetime, and he's given the performance of his lifetime, and in many ways, I, like him, feel the same way.” Fraser reflected, “We gave it everything we had. We're both like, 'We're still here, man! We're still here.'"
If Bio-Dome's Stephen Baldwin lands a career-defining, award-worthy role in the next year, then Pauly Shore is going to find himself to be a hot commodity.