Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan ‘Didn’t Let’ Son Jack Be a ‘Child Actor’

Dennis Quaid Jack Quaid Child Actor
Dennis Quaid poses in the press room during the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) held at Royal Albert Hall on February 18, 2018 in London, England. Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Dennis Quaid wanted his eldest son, Jack, to wait before he joined the family business — but he always knew he’d succeed once he did.

“I wanted him to grow up as a kid and have his childhood and life experience apart from being on a set, which he will be on for the rest of his life,” Quaid, 64, exclusively tells Us Weekly. “But, I wasn’t really nervous about his ability. It was very obvious that he had a lot of talent and drive to begin with.”

Quaid shares Jack, 26, with ex-wife Meg Ryan. The pair ended their 10-year marriage in 2001, with the actor recently revealing that it was his most successful relationship. Jack would get his start as Marvel in 2012’s Hunger Games.

“I told him to learn his lines and don’t bump into the furniture. But, Jack and I have a very close relationship and he always wanted [to be an actor]. Just seeing it be a part of him from being a child. We didn’t let him be a child actor,” Quaid explains. “He did it in high school, a play in high school. He did it the right way, I think. When it came time for him to go out and get jobs — he did it on his own.”

Dennis Quaid Jack Quaid Child Actor
Jack Quaid and Dennis Quaid attend the Armani and Cinema Society Screening of Sony Pictures Classics’ “Truth” after party at Armani Ristorante on October 7, 2015 in New York City. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

He adds: “I told him, ‘Oh, my agent wants to represent you, always has.’ He said, ‘No, dad, by myself,’ which is what he did.”

The proud dad hopes to work with him one day, too. “We’ve talked about it a little bit at this point. He’s been in this business now for, coming up on five years. At first, he didn’t want that. We were actually offered a movie together contract. I would have done that but he was kind of against that,” he tells Us. “I don’t blame him because … he is making a persona, a screen persona of his own. That’s what he’s building and I understand that. But since then … I think we will do something together.”

Until then, the star is staying busy on his own. He’s currently filming the A Dog’s Purpose sequel, A Dog’s Journey, continues to play with his band, Dennis Quaid and the Sharks, and recently became a spokesperson for Esurance.

“I’ve been looking around to brand myself with a company over the past couple of years. So, I’ve been offered a few things but I wanted to be with something that I myself believed in,” he tells Us.

Quaid also stars in its latest commercial. He hands out helpful insurance information to people around the world while speaking directly to viewers at home. “They’re doing it in a very funny way. These commercials relate to the company,” he notes. “We’re being transparent. I had a great time while we were shooting.”

He cracks in the ad that “no one wants to deal with insurance” but he was hired to promote Esurance because “apparently, I’m highly likeable.”

Indeed, and his four-decade career may also have something to do with it. “I have more fire in my belly for it than I did when I was in my twenties,” he tells Us of the business. “One thing — I’m so grateful that I’m still here.”

For more on Esurance, go here.

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