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Actor Jack Quaid of ‘The Boys’ finding success on his own

Updated November 27, 2020 - 11:58 am

Nepotism might run deep in Hollywood, but not for Jack Quaid.

He was born with that famous last name thanks to his father, actor Dennis Quaid. Mom is Hollywood darling Meg Ryan. Both parents offered to help when Jack declared he was joining the family business.

He turned down his father’s agent, who wanted to rep him at age 12, insisting he would do this on his own. A few months later, Jack Quaid not only had his own representation, but a plum role in his first movie, 2012’s “The Hunger Games.”

His next job was working for Martin Scorsese in the TV series “Vinyl.”

These days, he stars as vigilante Hughie Campbell in “The Boys.” The binge-worthy superhero series is in its second season on Amazon.

We caught up with the 28-year-old Los Angeles native as he was working on a chilly morning in North Carolina.

Review-Journal: How have you been spending your Sundays during the pandemic?

Jack Quaid: When I’m home, I mostly just play video games and wait around. Lately, I’ve been getting into cooking, although I’m just a terrible cook. I even wrote a few songs. I haven’t done anything too crazy during the pandemic. I’m just trying to dampen the madness and anxiety like everyone else.

How bad a cook are you?

I’m doing this thing now where they send you ingredients and you cook it yourself. I’m learning. I’m in a hotel right now with an electric stovetop. I’m looking forward to making it work.

Describe your working life in these unprecedented times.

I’m in North Carolina today filming the new “Scream” movie. What I can tell you about it isn’t much — except it’s really a fun ride and even more fun to film it. I need to stop there because literally I can’t say a single thing about this movie or Paramount will send someone to kill me.

“The Boys” started as a cult favorite and has become a major streaming hit.

I thought our first season was a bit of a slow burn, but then it became this word-of-mouth thing. When the second season came around, there seemed to be this big audience just waiting for it. I feel incredibly lucky. I’ve never been on a show where people are dying to see each episode. No one has seen me as much as “The Boys” fans, who watch the episodes over and over again. I think the reason for the show’s success is the cast crushes it. Otherwise, Eric Kripke (writer and show creator) deserves all the credit in the world. He knew that in the second season it needed to go deeper, not bigger.

Speaking of big, you drove a boat through a whale this season.

That’s regular stuff. We got deeper with the characters and drove a boat through a (computer-generated) whale. You can have it all.

What was the appeal of the show when you signed on?

Weirdly enough, it’s a very timely show. Especially when the first season was coming out, it felt like superheroes were all around us. We came out right when “Avengers: Endgame” came out. You saw superheroes every single day on billboards and on TV. It felt like superheroes were real. Then to have a show like “The Boys” come out that had a realistic take on superheroes was great in an overcrowded hero world. We show the consequences that these superheroes have on normal people — all the collateral damage.”

What has been your craziest moment so far?

The whale is going to be tough to top. I never imagined myself being in the belly of a whale, which is just so insane. I don’t know what we could do to top it. The one thing that is close is one of the characters setting himself on fire. It involved a stunt guy setting himself on fire and water flowing from the ceiling and me cutting off his hand. What weird fun.

There has to be one question about your famous parents. Did they inspire you to become an actor?

I think my parents proved to me that acting was a profession. They showed me my entire life if you worked hard at it that you can succeed. I wanted to act when I was a young teenager. What I always liked about it the most is these communities you form on these projects. The cast begins to feel like one big family.

When did you know that you could do this for a living?

I guess when I got my first laugh onstage. That was a moment. For me, it has never been so much about getting famous. I just love being a character and performing a scene. The idea that I can make a living doing this is my wildest dream.

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