Jack Quaid Wouldn't Watch Mom Meg Ryan's Most Famous Movie for a Hilarious Reason
But once he did, he was "so unbelievably proud" of his mom.
Jack Quaid is at the height of his career. The 27-year-old Hunger Games alum has two major projects out this summer: Amazon Prime series The Boys, which follows a group of superhero watchdogs (helmed by producer team Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, as well as Supernatural creator Eric Kripke), and festival darling Plus One, a quirky rom-com in which he stars alongside Pen15’s Maya Erskine.
Plus One, fresh off its World Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival, walked away from its debut with TFF’s Audience Award, which is as close as you can get to defining your film a crowd-pleaser.
Between Jack and Maya’s natural chemistry, the film’s razor-sharp dialogue, and the familiar yet nuanced ground of its wedding season-set premise, Tribeca audiences were right: Plus One is something special indeed.
Though fairly new to the industry, Quaid is clearly a pro — some of which can surely be attributed to his very talented genes (dad Dennis Quaid and mom Meg Ryan share 5 Golden Globe nominations between them). But his study of cinema can’t be discounted — in fact, he learned a lot from watching Ryan’s performances alone.
However, there was one entry in mom’s catalogue that the NYU alum resisted for years (like 25 of them): When Harry Met Sally. I audibly gasped when the actor spoke these words aloud while promoting Plus One at Tribeca, but he has a pretty solid excuse for sleeping on what is arguably the best romantic comedy of all time.
“In the rehearsal process we were talking about rom-coms and When Harry Met Sally came up and I made the confession that I had never seen [it],” Quaid told InStyle, “It’s one of those things, where if you really think about it, you don’t want to see your mom having a fake orgasm in a deli when you’re growing up. I avoided it.” Yes, fair.
Reservations aside, Quaid finally bit the potentially traumatizing bullet and watched the 1989 film.
“I watched the movie, because I’m doing a rom-com, I have to watch the rom-com, and the movie’s so much more than that scene,” he admitted. “I was so unbelievably proud of my mom — I called her sobbing, like ‘I’m so proud of you!’ and she like ‘Ah, cool!’ She was excited I’d seen it, and then I came into rehearsal that day still sobbing and it was this weird moment where I’m like ‘Guys, I’m just so proud of my mom!’”
That emotional vulnerability translated well onscreen. Jeff Chan (who wrote and directed the film alongside longtime collaborator Andrew Rhymer) explained, “It was amazing because we were rehearsing a really pivotal speech that [Jack’s character] Ben gives toward the end of the movie, and I remember you just came in and you had tears in your eyes and then you were like ‘Let’s get started’ and you just knocked it out of the park.”
“I was thinking about the New Year’s scene in the movie and I was just like ‘Oh God,’” Quaid said. “I learned so much — she didn’t have to give me any tips — I just watched what she did, it was incredible.”
It’s clear that the pride between mother and son is mutual.
Plus One opens in select theaters on June 14.