Before Kim and Kanye, before Ellen and Portia, and yes, even before Will and Jada, there was another celeb couple that the tabloids couldn’t seem to get enough of: Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid. The pair famously and spontaneously married on Valentine’s Day in 1991, according to Entertainment Weekly, showing everyone that romance was alive and well in Hollywood — ’90s style.
A little over a year later, Ryan and Quaid welcomed a son into the world on April 24, 1992. Little Jack Henry would be the first and only child that they had together (although the duo both have other children separately), making him the sole heir to their legacy. Fast-forward to today, where the younger Quaid is absolutely killing it in his chosen profession. So in case you missed the memo, here’s everything we know about Jack Quaid — who’s grown up to be just as handsome as his dad, and equally as gorgeous as his mom.
Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid’s son saw through Hollywood’s "nonsense" early on
Meg Ryan’s son Jack Quaid was born and raised in Los Angeles, as you would expect of a child of two super-famous actors. But even though children of Hollywood royalty have sometimes garnered a reputation for being aloof and spoiled, Quaid said his parents insulated him from that mentality. "Growing up, you’re able to at least see the culture projected out there, like the Hollywood nonsense, and you’re able to see it for what it is — nonsense," he shared in an interview with WWD. "I had great parents. They really kept me away from that thing, that Hollywood-ness." That’s a relief to hear!
Although Quaid knew that his upbringing wasn’t exactly normal, he doesn’t see his parents as the movie caricatures others might assume from afar — in that same vein, his mom and dad instilled in him the ability to know when people aren’t genuine. "I would notice kids at school would want to be my friend for the wrong reasons," he revealed in the Allegedly podcast (via Us Weekly). "I just kind of know who’s a bulls**t artist immediately." Clearly that’s served him well.
Yes, Meg Ryan really made breakfast
Meg Ryan was the Hollywood it-girl for years, starring as the leading lady in iconic films like When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and You’ve Got Mail to name just a few. For over a decade, her perky mug was ubiquitous, as she snagged role after role. Today she also has producing credits, and even a directing credit to her name — talk about a seriously impressive career!
Taking all of that into consideration, you may not expect Ryan to be a normal mom who takes on everyday tasks like cooking for her kids, but that’s exactly what she did, and Jack Quaid remembers it fondly. "She would make these amazing breakfast sandwiches every morning before I went to school for like three years straight," he recalled in an interview with The New Potato. "We called it the ‘Egg McMom.’ Weird name. Great sandwich." If that isn’t the very epitome of wholesome, we’re not sure what is.
"I mean… it’s a hard deal"
Despite the fact that Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid were super smitten with each other for a long time, the romance wasn’t destined to last forever. "My parents got divorced when I was eight," the Jack Quaid shared in the Allegedly podcast (via Us Weekly). "It’s one of those weird ages. …You’re old enough to know what’s going on, but young enough to be kind of naive about it." It’s a shame they couldn’t make it work, but they gave it a good run.
As for Quaid’s perspective on the issue, he acknowledges it for what it is. "I mean… it’s a hard deal," he continued. "But, I mean, it’s just as hard as any other divorce, really." Sounds like he’s done the work needed to validate his own feelings on the tough situation, process it and move on with his life. Quaid added that his parents still see each other on occasion when they’re doing something for him.
Meg Ryan’s son, Jack Quaid, was destined for the stage and screen
Given that Jack Quaid is the son of two Hollywood legends, it seems only natural that he’s pursuing a career in front of the camera. "I’ve been on sets my whole life," he mused in an interview with Interview magazine. We can only imagine how cool that must have been!
Performing came naturally to the young Quaid, who often liked to perform magic tricks for his parents growing up. But it was a middle school production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which he played the donkey-headed Bottom, that cemented his desire to become an actor and a comedian. "After the first night when I got my first laugh onstage, I think that was the moment of, ‘Yeah, I want to do this for the rest of my life,’" Meg Ryan’s son recalled in an interview with WWD. After that, he went on to enroll at the famous Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. But his career began to pick up before he graduated, so he never finished — he really didn’t need to!
Jack Quaid was marvelous as Marvel
Big breaks don’t come any bigger than The Hunger Games, in which Jack Quaid was cast as Marvel, one of the career tributes who train their whole lives to fight to the death in President Snow’s arena. And as he noted in Interview magazine, this was his first time on set where he was in front of the camera, rather than behind it with a snack from the Craft Services truck. "It was a new sensation. It was weird… I really liked it." Go big or go home, right?
If you’re wondering which one Marvel was, wonder no more: he was the person who killed Rue, which is why everyone hates his character. "Anytime I post anything on Instagram, there’s at least one comment that’s like ‘You killed Rue,’" he shared in an interview with Rama’s Screen. "Now that I’m talking about it, it’s probably going to happen even more." Fortunately, Quaid can live with being the most reviled character in the arena!
Meg Ryan’s son has been open about his struggles with anxiety
Despite the fact that celebrities can seem almost superhuman at times, Jack Quaid admits that he struggles with his mental health just like anyone else. "I’ve always been slightly more anxious than your average Joe," he confessed in an interview with Project UROK. So even though he had a healthy upbringing with all of the material comforts a person needs, he still has to contend with his nerves.
Things got more intense when he left the nest, too. "I remember [my] freshman year of college, I started having panic attacks," he continued. And that’s what led him to learn more about how the brain works so he could figure out how to calm himself down. Meg Ryan’s son also shared that he had been in therapy as a child to help him process his parents’ divorce, which showed him the importance of having someone to talk to. His openness is one important (and commendable) step towards fighting the stigma of mental illness.
Jack Quaid landed Vinyl
After landing Marvel in The Hunger Games, what other gigs could possibly measure up? Perhaps a role in a show on HBO with big-names executive producers like Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger? Well, that’s exactly what Jack Quaid managed to score when he was cast in Vinyl, a show about the music industry set in the 1970s. "It was absolutely insane. I still can’t exactly believe that it happened," Meg Ryan’s son said of the experience in The New Potato.
In the show, Quaid plays Clark Morelle, a junior A&R executive who’s trying to make a name for himself in the industry. "What I like about him is that being a person in the record industry is historically a very cool job," he shared in an interview with WWD. "To take a character who is such a square through this crazy world of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, that was the most fun part — because that’s who I feel like I’d be, if I had the job." Sounds like it was a natural fit!
Unfortunately, the show was cancelled after only one season.
Lucky in Logan Lucky
The year 2017 saw Jack Quaid’s career in full-steam-ahead mode as he snagged a part in the comedy/heist movie Logan Lucky, which starred Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Riley Keough, and Daniel Craig — talk about an all-star cast! And it’s not your average heist film either, as it was set in North Carolina and targeted a NASCAR race for the big score. It’s definitely not Oceans 11, that’s for sure!
Quaid played the role of Fish Bang (yes, really), a redneck who manages to find a place on the heist team. He donned a wig for the part, and got to have a lot of fun with the costuming. "Everyday they put all these tattoos on me," he revealed in an interview with Rama’s Screen. "I’d never been in a makeup chair that long." He even got to customize one of the tattoos, which was the word ‘dangerous’ deliberately misspelled. Sounds like a hoot!
Meg Ryan’s son can be seen in many of the film preview clips saying that he knows "all the twitters." Just hilarious.
The characters Meg Ryan’s son would like to play
Jack Quaid wrapped up 2017 as Jordan Welch in Tragedy Girls, a movie about two death-obsessed teenage girls. Then in 2018, he played Connor in the blockbuster Rampage, which starred The Rock. Clearly the actor has some serious range, given the diversity of projects he’s done.
With so much already behind him, what roles does Quaid want to play in the future? "I feel like all the types that I’m thinking of right now are for older actors," he mused in an interview with GQ. "But, you know, if it turns out that way later, I would always want to play, like, a fun dad role. A dad that’s like a little too trying to be cool." Sounds like he ought to give Seth Rogan a call!
In addition to being a movie dad, Quaid has other ambitions. "I’ve always wanted to play the villain in a movie, too. Just straight up and down villain," he continued. "I’ve kind of done that, but I’d love to explore that more." As if playing Marvel and killing our beloved Rue wasn’t villainous enough!
Jack Quaid looks up to another famous actor
Obviously Jack Quaid had some pretty inspiring actors around him growing up — both at home with his parents, and being around their peers on set — that gave him ample opportunity to see how the best of the best do it in Hollywood. It’s not every day that you get to go behind the scenes of movies like French Kiss or City of Angels!
But Quaid didn’t cite mom as his favorite actor or comedic inspiration, despite the fact that she was a rom com queen. Instead, when asked, he went with a different choice, noting that his favorite actor, "when I was a kid, and still now, [is] Jim Carrey." He added that it’s likely because he watched Liar, Liar quite frequently when he was young. Actually, that makes sense given the direction he’s chosen! So what is it about Carrey that Quaid admires so much? "His ability to be like, really funny, but also very sincere," he continued. "I love him. He’s great."
Meg Ryan’s son is in a sketch comedy group
In addition to acting in films and television, Jack Quaid is also active in a sketch comedy group called Sasquatch Sketch Comedy. He, along with pals Nick Williams, Danny Jolles and Zach Webber, perform in a wide variety of funny sketches that they upload to their YouTube channel. The whole thing is both goofy and endearing at the same time.
The troop had another opportunity to work together in a different genre, this time in Meg Ryan’s directorial debut, Ithaca, in 2015. And although they didn’t shoot at the same time, the experience was resoundingly positive. "After doing so much sketch comedy with them, it was so cool to see them do something so different," Quaid shared in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "I’ve got some talented friends."
At the time of writing, the Sasquatch channel has been quiet since September 2017.
Meg Ryan called her son a pro
Speaking of Meg Ryan’s directorial debut, her son, Jack Quaid, had a pretty major role in Ithaca, as he played Mrs. Macauley’s (Meg Ryan) oldest son who’s off fighting in World War II. Also starring in the movie were heavyweights like Tom Hanks and Sam Shepard, so you know this was a serious set to be on. But Ryan knew her son would be a natural. "He was so born to it in so many ways," she shared in an interview on Good Morning America. "He did his 10,000 hours of directing, and writing, and acting by the time he was like, ten." Pretty impressive chops for someone so young!
Additionally, Ryan knew that her son had the real-world experience necessary to carry the role. "By the time he got to my set he’d been to Martin Scorsese’s set, he’s now on Steven Soderbergh’s set, so he’s kind of a pro," she continued. No lies detected!
Dennis Quaid is super impressed with his son’s career
Meg Ryan isn’t the only parent doting on his son’s burgeoning career, as Jack Quaid’s dad, the one and only Dennis Quaid, had some super kind things to say about him as well. "It was very obvious that Jack was going to be an actor or a filmmaker from the time that he was three," Dennis shared in an interview on Megyn Kelly Today. He noted that he and Ryan didn’t encourage or discourage their son’s acting ambitions, but simply let him manifest his vision.
Jack’s parents did have one rule, however, when it came to their son’s acting pursuits. "The only thing we didn’t let him do was become a child actor," Dennis continued. It’s likely they didn’t want him to be harmed so young in such a tough industry. Humorously enough, the elder Quaid, a legend himself, is deferential to his son’s accomplishments. "He got Hunger Games first, and then he did Vinyl, you know, working with Scorsese, and I’m like, hey now… how about helping me out?" The apple clearly doesn’t fall too far from the tree!
Meg Ryan’s son has an interesting back-up plan
With a resume like Jack Quaid’s, which is only growing as he continues to score all kinds of high-profile jobs, you wouldn’t figure that he’d have a back-up plan in case his film career decided to unexpectedly tank. But interestingly enough he does, and it sounds… different. "I’m working on a one-man show about a wizard who parties," he revealed in an interview with WWD. Well that’s unexpected! But it’s also 100 percent Jack Quaid when you really think about it.
So how did such an odd, and yet intriguing idea come about? "It’s just like a thing I’ve done at parties that I’ve somehow managed to turn into a 45-minute comedy show," Meg Ryan’s son continued. So maybe he’ll refine it on a rainy day and perform it somewhere in Los Angeles. If it does happen, chances are it will pop up on YouTube, along with his other hilarious skits. We’ll keep our eyes open for it!
When Jack Quaid landed The Boys, it was "insane"
While Jack Quaid had some pretty impressive credits to his name by the time 2019 rolled around, arguably his best and biggest parts were yet to come. Perhaps his biggest to date, a true big break, is his work on the Amazon Prime series The Boys. Alongside powerhouse actors like Erin Moriarty (of Jessica Jones fame) and Karl Urban (from the Lord of the Rings movies), Quaid plays Hughie Campbell, a regular person who’s out for vengeance against morally bankrupt superheroes.
The series quickly became one of Amazon’s most-watched shows, which means a lot more people know who Quaid is since watching it. And as he tells it, he soaked up every amazing moment being on set for The Boys. "It was an insane moment in my life," he recalled in a chat with NME. "I was working with all these people I’d admired for so long and I just felt incredibly lucky to be there."
Jack Quaid starred in a rom-com… and started a romance of his own
If there’s one thing that Jack Quaid was born to do, it’s star in a rom-com. After all, his mother is Meg Ryan, an undisputed queen of the genre (Sleepless in Seattle, anyone? Or You’ve Got Mail?). Additionally, father Dennis Quaid has had his turn as the leading man in romance films, including The Parent Trap with Lindsay Lohan. So perhaps it was destiny when Jack snagged the role of Ben in Plus One, starring opposite Maya Erskine.
In order to prepare for the role, Jack watched none other than When Harry Met Sally, as he says the dialogue between his mother and Billy Crystal in the film was totally inspiring. "I think that’s a really important staple [of rom-coms]: having a good back-and-forth with your scene partner," he told Glamour. "Not that I took everything from that, but that’s a good jumping-off point when I started the process." He added that the film is classic, and we totally agree.
A Star Trek credit for Jack Quaid? Check!
Few television series are more beloved and iconic than Star Trek, which has been on the air in multiple iterations since 1966 (via IMDb). From the original to Star Trek: The Next Generation to the J.J. Abrams reboot films to Star Trek: Discovery, fans of the franchise have a ton of options to choose from.
Jack Quaid got the opportunity to participate in this legendary TV juggernaut when he was cast in the 2020 animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks, voicing the role of Ensign Brad Boimler. That’s something he got to share with The Boys co-stars Simon Pegg (who played Scotty in the Abrams movies) and Karl Urban (who played Bones in the same). "I got to tell them at our Tribeca premiere, like, ‘Hey guys, I’m animated but I’m kind of there with you! I’ve joined the Star Forge,’" he revealed in an interview with HuffPost. That’s a pretty cool club to be a part of.
Jack Quaid has stepped out from under his parents’ shadow
Being the child of two incredibly famous actors is a double-edged sword; on one hand, you’re steeped in privilege and have an edge over the rest of us normies. On the other hand, people think they already know who you are — something that Jack Quaid is finally getting out from under. "I love my parents. I’m also a huge fan," he quipped in an interview with NME. "But it is nice when people start to get to know you for your own work as well."
While there are worse things than having people adore you because of your birthright, it’s not the totality of who Quaid is. "It doesn’t bother me, but sometimes in interviews people tell me how much they loved The Right Stuff [Dennis’ 1984 astronaut biopic] or whatever, and they look at me like I had something to do with it," he continued. "I wasn’t even a concept yet!"
Given all that Quaid has accomplished, it’s safe to say that his star is still rising, and we’re likely to see more of Meg Ryan’s son in the future.