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Jack The Lad

by devnym

Or why Jack Quaid is so full of the future

by Rick Beltway
photography by Jennifer Rocholl

Jack Quaid has a hilarious meme on his Instagram titled, “Why Meg Ryan Never Mentions Her Son.” It’s a side-by-side photo of Meg Ryan and a guy with at least fifteen piercings on his face. He captions the photo, “My Secret Shame.” In on the joke about random misinformation, people still managed to argue about the validity of the meme in the comments. Quaid himself was perplexed that people were even arguing about it since he was the one who posted the photo. He manages to have a sense of humor about a lot of things and remains level-headed when it comes to the celebrity status of his parents (Ryan and Dennis Quaid). In past interviews, he’s been open about the effects of their divorce, and how he handled seeing the tabloid headlines in grocery stores. He knows the challenges of celebrity and doesn’t need any scandal or gimmicks to stay in the limelight. In the era of TMZ and SnapChat, young Hollywood’s antics are trending topics on the daily, but when it comes to today’s celebrities nothing shocks his parents. “They’ve pretty much seen it all,” he says. “If I ever come to them with a story that is crazy they can always match it with another story that happened to them years ago.”

When it comes to social media and visibility Jack Quaid realizes he’s in a different league than his parents in some respects. He keeps them private when it comes to social media and usually asks them for permission before posting pictures. “It’s a totally new and different world for me coming up as an actor than it was for them. I am experiencing a different type of Hollywood that my parents mostly because they’ve told me about what they’ve encountered. I feel like I know it’s trappings and what to avoid, but I’m doing it in my own way or at least I’m trying to.”

“… I jump into the future a lot with stuff. I’ve learned to sort of take it for the ride that it is and just have fun while you’re doing it…”

In interviews, Quaid has described his childhood as regular but learned how to be wary of other’s people’s intentions especially when presenting friendships. After his parents split there was a wave of tabloid attention put upon them, and although the negative attention was rough, he remained close to both of his parents. He’s a fan of both of their work they give him enough perspective to keep going in the business. He’s grateful for the knowledge and perspective that they can provide him, especially when trying to get through stardom at its precarious stages. “They can always put me at ease,” he says. “They always assure me that these things can happen to anyone. They know this business is harsh and crazy and they’ve seen every side of it. It’s good to have someone that’s been there before.” If they’ve given him any advice that’s been helpful it’s not to worry. “I don’t know how good I am at taking that advice. I jump into the future a lot with stuff. I’ve learned to sort of take it for the ride that it is and just have fun while you’re doing it.”

Quaid has been able to develop his own Hollywood identity. The Hunger Games star has been gaining traction, starring in shows such as HBO’s Vinyl and Workaholics. His new film, Logan Lucky, is Steven Soderbergh’s new film about a heist at a NASCAR race. “It is maybe the most fun I’ve ever had on a set. Steven Soderbergh is really good with working with actors. He’s not just the director. He’s the editor as well. He’s willing to invite you into seeing the whole process, and it was just amazing to watch him work.” Set in North Carolina, the California native has said that he practiced the accent in his car. However, when it came to learning dangerous NASCAR stunts, Quaid was not that successful. For the movie, the only car that he drove was a go-cart, and he managed to crash it into a wall. It was an incident that he was happy to keep secret until he was started working on another movie in Atlanta. Someone on set approached him and asked him if he was the guy that crashed a go cart on Logan Lucky. It’s not the kind of reputation that you want to have for a big action movie, but Quaid shrugged it off with a laugh. “Well, I’m happy that I have that reputation around Atlanta.”

Quaid has been doing improv comedy since his days at NYU and regularly performs with his troupe in Los Angeles. He credits Steve Martin and Jim Carrey as his influences and hopes to work with both of them in the future. He’s met both of them briefly but was too shy to take it further. “I think I was trying to keep my cool when I met them. I don’t think I succeeded. Even if they didn’t see it on the outside, inside, I was fangirling a lot.” Known for his serious roles in Vinyl and The Hunger Games, Quaid finally got to show his comedic chops in the final episode of Workaholics. “Being on that episode was honestly a dream come true. I respect those guys so much that’s what I want for myself. To do a show like that where you’re working with your friends and you’re all very collaborative and you’re just having a blast. All we did. was just have fun.”

“I’m really passionate about climate change. In terms of getting more involved, we can stand to call and write to our local representatives. It doesn’t seem like it will do much, but the good ones will really listen to you.”

In uncertain political times, celebrities have been divided like the rest of the country. Most celebrities would rather not comment on the political sphere, because of the potential backlash that they may receive. Some have even said that Hollywood has no business commenting on it at all, but Quaid is still trying to figure out his role in it. “It has been a really polarizing time in politics. I’m not happy with what’s going on by any means, but I think there’s value in seeing the world for what it is now.“ Historically Hollywood has been a tool for escapism and dialogue during intense social times. Quaid says that both approaches have their value in society right now. “Because it’s so bad it’s good for us to look at it and see how awful it is and say that we never want this again. You can never move on from something terrible until you see how bad it can get. Cinema, movies, and television, they have a real power to them to get people at least talking. Dialogue is a great thing that should happen especially during polarizing times. Entertainment has such a healing power for especially what’s happening right now.”

According to the US Census, millennials now outnumber baby boomers. For Quaid, climate change is an advocacy issue that’s important to him, and he feels that millennials can be more involved. “I’m really passionate about climate change. In terms of getting more involved, we can stand to call and write to our local representatives. It doesn’t seem like it will do much, but the good ones will really listen to you. I would say get off of the internet and start getting out there.”

photography by Jennifer Rocholl
stylist Wayman & Michah
groomer Christine Nelli
los angeles location
provided by Engel & Volkers

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