A weeping Quan, who was born in Vietnam, kissed his Oscar trophy on stage.
Kwan said, “My journey started on a boat. I spent a year in a refugee camp. Somehow I ended up here on the biggest stage in Hollywood.”
“They say stories like this only happen in movies. I can’t believe this is happening to me. It’s the American dream.”
Kwan was one of the early winners at the Oscars. Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio” was named best animated feature.
A crisis response team was on hand in case of an unexpected turn. The group was formed after Will Smith bashed Chris Rock on stage last year, tarnishing the film industry’s most prestigious event.
Host Jimmy Kimmel, who parachuted onto the stage of the Dolby Theater to pay tribute to best picture nominee “Top Gun: Maverick,” joked in his opening monologue about the audience’s reaction to Smith’s attack last year.
“If anything unexpected or violent happens at the ceremony, just do what you did last year — nothing,” he told the crowd of A-list celebrities. “Maybe hug the attacker.”
The 95th Academy Awards ceremony was broadcast live on The Walt Disney Company’s ABC network. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had expected Thappad to stage a grander show and spur declining TV ratings.
Prior to the awards, nominees dressed in designer gowns and tuxedos screened their films on the champagne carpet in place of the traditional red.
Producers said they plan to celebrate last year’s film rebound, which some feared might never happen when streaming took hold during the COVID-19 pandemic.
From “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Everywhere Everywhere All at Once” to “Elvis” and “Avatar: The Way of Water,” several of 2022’s biggest hits at multiplexes landed in the Best Picture race.
Last year, the television audience for the Academy Awards ranked second lowest with 16.6 million viewers.
Bigger films on Sunday’s ballot could help attract more viewers, rather than some of the lesser-known films nominated in recent years. Musical performances can also increase viewership.
Lady Gaga emerged as a last-minute addition and was expected to sing “Hold My Hand” from her nominated “Top Gun” song. Oscar producers said last week that Gaga was unable to make it because she was in the middle of filming the sequel to the 2019 film “Joker.”
Pop superstar Rihanna will also take the stage, performing “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
Michelle Yeoh will face Cate Blanchett, who played a devious orchestra conductor in “Tar,” in the best actress category. Best actor might be a toss-up between “Elvis” star Austin Butler and Brendan Fraser, who played the seriously fat guy in “The Whale.”
The winners are voted upon by the approximately 10,000 actors, producers, directors and film craftsmen who make up the Film Academy.