SPOILER ALERT! This Q&A contains spoilers for Season 2 of Loki.
Season 2 of Marvel Studios’ Loki expands upon the inner workings of the Time Variance Authority, where the God of Mischief has been working tirelessly to save, well, all of time.
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That includes introducing new characters, like Ke Huy Quan’s Ouroboros. As the TVA’s dedicated handyman, everything inside the institution was either created by him or is currently maintained by him. When Loki and Mobius enter his workshop, they become his first visitors in 400 years.
Little do they know, Ouroboros is an integral part of their quest to prevent the branches of time from overloading the Temporal Loom.
Following the end of the actors strike and on the heels of the Loki Season 2 finale, Quan spoke with Deadline about joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, his character Ouroboros, and his own full circle career moment.
DEADLINE: It’s so great to get to talk with you about Loki. You haven’t really been able to talk about your role, due to the actors strike. What have you been waiting to say?
KE HUY QUAN: When I decided to become an actor again, [being part of the MCU] was at the top of my wishlist…They all welcomed me with wide open arms, and I was so happy. I was patiently waiting for the show to come out so we can go and celebrate it and tell the fans. Then, of course, the strike happened. I just want to tell everybody how proud of the show I am. How happy I am with it. And working with Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, the entire Loki family has just been incredible. We made this last year in London. I was there for four months, my wife and I were there. It was one of the best four months of my life. I’ve done a few shows before, and this was the first time where I didn’t want it to end. I was so happy. In fact, I’ll tell you this. We were scheduled for reshoots this February, and I was waiting. My wife and I were looking forward to spending more time in London and with our Loki family. And all of a sudden we were told, ‘Oh, we don’t need any reshoots. It’s all good.’ I was kind of disappointed. I was actually disappointed that we didn’t get to go back because of how much fun we had… So we made history. We make history two times. One is the first series of Marvel getting a second season and the second is the first time a Marvel show didn’t have any reshoots. I’m so proud of that.
DEADLINE: It is quite a feat to not have any reshoots. So that was probably one of the few times you were excited for reshoots.
QUAN: A lot of times actors dread doing reshoots, because you have to go back. You have to get back into character. But for this, I was really happy. I was looking forward to it. It’s so ironic, because the more I wanted to do, it’s like, ‘Oh, we don’t need it.’ But this is a testament to how great the show is and to how great a Leader Tom Hiddleston is. Working with him has been incredible. It was such a masterclass on how to be a great actor, a great leader, and most importantly, a great human being. He is so kind and humble.
DEADLINE: When you first read the script, what did you think of your character, Ouroboros? What were you hoping you could bring to him?
QUAN: Well, first of all, when I read the script, I instantly fell in love with Ouroboros. It was so well defined on the pages, and I can see him right away. This character was not based on comic books, so it was created by our showrunner Kevin Wright and our head writer Eric Martin… I instantly wanted to play him. And I remember this was at a time when Everything, Everywhere All At Once had just came out. It was paying only in New York and in Los Angeles. My agent said, ‘You’re gonna get a call from Kevin Feige tomorrow.’ Now you have to understand, when I became an actor again, joining the MCU was at the top of my wishlist. I was so excited and I said, ‘Could this be it?’ I was driving. I picked up the phone. And on the other end I hear, ‘Hi Ke. This is Kevin Feige.’ He went on to talk about how much he loved our movie and how much he loved my performance. Then finally he says, ‘Ke we would love for you to join the MCU family.’ I was driving at that time. I start tearing up, and I couldn’t see the road anymore. I said, ‘Kevin, can you give me two seconds?’ I pulled the car over, put it in park and I said, ‘Please continue.’ He says, ‘We have this great character for you, Ouroboros. I really love him, and I think you will be perfect to play him.’ He told me about Loki. He told me about the MCU. He spoke [with] so much passion and enthusiasm in his voice. It brought me back to the day when I met him for the very first time on the X-Men set when he was just an associate producer, and I was an assistant action choreographer…He loves this universe so much. He has such a vast knowledge of this universe. And little did I know only 23 years later, I get to work with him. I get to play a wonderful character.
DEADLINE: I’m glad you mentioned that. It is quite the full circle moment.
QUAN: You know, that’s why I love the name Ouroboros. It’s s a snake eating its own tail. I had a wonderful time working with Kevin on set. It was at a time where I didn’t think I would ever step in front of the camera again. It was also the time where I questioned whether I would have a career working behind the camera. It was when I just graduated from USC film school. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I knew I didn’t want to leave this industry. I love it so much. So to be able to do that and to come back again in front of the camera… I’m very fortunate.
DEADLINE: Your comedic timing is so spot on in Loki. I’m thinking of the scene where Ouroboros manages to recreate the Tempad after 19 months and losing his wife. What’s the secret to nailing a scene like that?
QUAN: I don’t think much about it. I gotta credit Kevin Wright and Eric Martin. They really beautifully created this character Ouroboros. The dialogue, when I was reading for the first time, I laughed out loud, because he’s so quirky. He’s so weird and funny. Yet, if you think about it, who is this guy that’s working in the basement of the TVA for more than 400 years with no friends? No interaction with anybody. His only encounter was with Mobius when he got lost. Yet he still takes his job so seriously and so passionately. It has a lot to do with the beautiful dialogue that they came up with.
DEADLINE: Do you think O.B. stays in the basement for another 400 years or will be venturing out more often?
QUAN: When you get a taste of what friendships feel like… Loki is addicted to that. So I’m sure O.B. will be as well. When you don’t have it, you don’t know what you’re missing. But once you have it, you keep going after it. So I would assume that O.B. would periodically, when he’s not too busy, he would go up the elevator and go say hi to Casey and B-15 And just to mingle with Mobius, because he loves Mobius.
DEADLINE: What scene are you most proud of?
QUAN: I love Episode One, that scene when he’s talking to Mobius in the present and Loki in the past. That is so creative… It’s so is so well written. It’s so funny.
DEADLINE: How did you feel when you read the script for the finale?
QUAN: I was blown away, because I didn’t see that coming. It’s so beautiful and so poetic. When you have a character who wants to be on the throne all his life, and he finally gets to be on it. But he can never leave. He made the ultimate sacrifice…To me, Loki is the ultimate hero because he made the sacrifice without recognition. Nobody knows he did this, except the team. No one in the Sacred Timeline is going to ever know that. If we’re lucky in life, we would have people like that with us. The unsung heroes.
Loki is streaming on Disney+.
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