Child actors don’t necessarily stay actors forever. Take Ke Huy Quan. As a kid he appeared in both Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, as plucky sidekick Short Round, and in The Goonies. As work dried up, he went to film school and rebranded as a stunt coordinator and assistant director. Now he’s an actor again and he earned raves — and awards — as Michelle Yeoh’s sweetly dorky husband in Everything Everywhere All at Once. But he was only able to do it with some help from a fellow Goonie who hasn’t gone back to acting.
In a roundtable interview for The Hollywood Reporter (in a bit caught by The AV Club), Quan revealed that he was able to ink the Everything Everywhere deal with his lawyer, Jeff Cohen. The name might not sound familiar, but nearly four decades ago he co-starred with Quan in The Goonies. He played Chunk, the portly kid prone to screaming and who befriends Sloth (the late John Matuszak), the deformed son of Anne Ramsey’s dastardly Mama Fratelli.
Like Quan, as he got older, Cohen stayed in the industry. He just moved to a different part of it: He became an entertainment lawyer. His talent came in handy when Quan was being courted for his comeback role.
“When the producer of our movie was trying to make my deal, he said he never imagined that he’d have to talk to Chunk and Data for his movie,” referring to the roles he and Cohen played some 38 years ago. When asked if Cohen got him a good deal, Quan responded, “Jeff is an outstanding lawyer.”
So, good for Quan and good for Cohen, who stayed in touch and teamed up to bring one of the best performances of last year to the screen. Keep in touch with your childhood pals, including the ones you work with. You might help each other one day.