2019 Breakthrough Entertainer: Jack Quaid of ‘The Boys’

Entertainment

This Dec. 3, 2019 photo shows actor Jack Quaid posing for a portrait in Los Angeles. Quaid was named one of the breakthrough artists of the year by the Associated Press. (Photo by Rebecca Cabage/Invision/AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — If you’re an actor, and your parents just happen to be Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid, you may have to get used to movie makers assuming that you’re an entitled jerk.

Jack Quaid says that just means he has to work harder to prove them wrong.

The 27-year-old Quaid is quick to point out that he’s been a very lucky man before he’ll get into the stereotypes about the sons and daughters of very famous people.

“I don’t want to necessarily complain about growing up the way that I did because there was always food on the table, I got to live in a nice house … This is me checking my privilege. It’s there. It’s totally there,” he said. “But there’s a little bit of an attitude that I’ve gotten, especially as I was starting out. Like, I would walk into an audition room and people would just assume I would be a (jerk).”

Quaid, who looks like his mother when he’s delighted and his father when he’s indignant, recalled one audition in particular.

“The casting director looked at me and said, ‘Oh wow, that was actually really good. I thought you’d come in here and expect it to be handed to you and just be really entitled about it,’” he said. “I was like, ‘No, I just genuinely want to do this. And if I’m lucky enough to get this part, I’ll do my best.’”

Quaid’s best has been particularly good this year. He’s earned widespread attention for the first time since he fell in love with acting at the age of 13 (in a middle school rendition of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”).

Quaid stars in “The Boys,” an irreverent genre-busting superhero show that’s among the most successful original programs on Amazon Prime Video. The show premiered in July, less than two weeks before the release of “Plus One,” a romantic comedy starring Quaid and Maya Erskine that won the Narrative Audience Award at the Tribeca Film Festival.

“It’s been crazy,” Quaid recently told The Associated Press, which named him among itsBreakthrough Entertainers of 2019. “It’s just been a very wild year. I find myself thinking that I’m very lucky.”

To prepare for “Plus One,” Quaid binge-watched rom-coms, including “When Harry Met Sally” for the first time.

“When your mom has one of the most iconic orgasm scenes of all time, you tend to not watch that,” Quaid said, adding that he regretted missing out on it so long. “When I finished the movie, I was like, completely crying and emotional because I think she’s so good in the movie. And I was just so upset that I hadn’t seen it because of this one dumb thing.”

As for “The Boys,” Quaid calls the show a dream come true.

“And the fact that it’s being viewed by people, I don’t know. That’s a miracle,” he said.

Despite his success, Quaid said his life hasn’t changed that much, except that more doors are opening for him professionally and people are starting to recognize him, although they often can’t pinpoint why.

“They come up to me on the street and they go, ‘Did we go to high school together?’” he said.

What’s next for Quaid? For one, he’ll do anything to be in a “Star Wars” movie.

“I’ll be whatever in the movie — I’ll be a droid. I’ll be like, a grain of sand on Tatooine. I don’t care. That would be a huge, huge deal for me,” he said. “I’m just really excited for the future and anything else that might come my way.”

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