Actor Dennis Quaid is keeping busy to take on a role playing President Ronald Reagan, as well as starring in a new Esurance commercial.
Dennis Quaid is feeling nervous these days.
The 64-year-old is set to play President Ronald Reagan in a biopic that’s expected to start recording this autumn.
Reagan, a former film star who became America’s 40th president, died in 2004 at age 93 after battling Alzheimer’s disease.
“[I’m] really, really nervous,” Quaid admitted to Fox News. “When I got the role was offered about four months ago, I could not give them an answer. I had a shiver of fear go up my spine. I don’t really feel that I look like Ronald Reagan. But usually, that shiver of fear is a sign to me that I should do something because it brings me out of my comfort zone.”
Despite his initial hesitation, Quaid took on the challenge.
President Ronald Reagan
The Hollywood Reporter revealed in June that Mark Joseph, the film’s producer, met with 50 of Reagan’s friends, confidantes and cabinet, including his predecessor and the surgeon who saved his life after he was shot in 1981, to accurately depict his life.
“I am fascinated by Ronald Reagan,” said Quaid. “And we share a number of characteristics. He had an optimistic, sunny disposition, way of looking at life. And we are both actors. He has an incredible life story. A story that I think most people really don’t know. They think they know of the man, but they’re not.”
Quaid also called Reagan’s remarkable life and legacy is that the public, whether Democrat or Republican, wants to explore.
“The film is not political,” he explained. “The script is not political. Reagan was a Democrat that a Republican. And that’s what I like about it. It is simply the story of the man who was Ronald Reagan.”
And Quaid is studying his famous subject. He recently spent time at the Reagan ranch, the family’s vacation home and personal retreat in sunny California.
Actor Dennis Quaid is looking forward to taking on the role of President Ronald Reagan in an upcoming biopic.
“If you drive into the place is surprisingly small and humble,” he said. “And they left it just as it was when Reagan was there for the last time, really. [His clothes along with Nancy ‘ s] are in their cabinets and you just have the feeling that they would come back in 30 minutes. It still has their 1974 home devices.
“His books in the bookcase are a real treasure for me. I tried to read, the most of them. And he used to build all the fences and cut grass. You could really feel that he is there.”
But if there is one thing Quaid is not stressing about his decision to appear on television. He recently shot a commercial for Esurance, a company that sells auto, home and renters insurance for consumers. Quaid, who personally use Esurance, serves as the new spokesperson.
“The last commercial I did on camera was King Kong and pluck me from the street in a truck,” he chuckled. “That was in the year 1976 I think… I wanted it to be a company that I believed in… Insurance, for most people, and for me, really boring, a drudge.
“It can be confusing and frustrating. But with their new site, it makes it very easy. So I believe in that. And they are very transparent. It shows in the commercials, that was a big reason that I said yes. The commercials are funny. They’re funny to me.”
And while Quaid is keeping busy on the big and small screens, he is always on a mission to find the next great story to tell. In April, he stirred the headlines for his involvement in “I Can Only imagine,” a faith-based movie that quickly became a box-office sensation.
The Hollywood Reporter announced that the film, which was made on a $7 million budget, a gross profit of $71 million.
“I Can Only Imagine” tells the true story behind MercyMe the chart-topping song that celebrates the power of forgiveness.
Quaid said that he is not even a Christian movie.
“I certainly would,” he said. “I’m not necessarily looking for faith-based… I look at them as really good stories. When I read a script, that is what I am looking for. And I Can Only think was an unbelievable story. So yes, I’m open.’
And Quaid, who has been acting in films since 1975, is not only a feeling inspired. His son, Jack Quaid, which he shares with Meg Ryan, also has a number of his own successful Hollywood career.
The “When Harry met Sally” actress, 56, and Quaid tied the knot in 1991. The former couple finalized their divorce in 2001.
Jack, 26, has appeared in the “Hunger Games” movie series opposite Jennifer Lawrence, worked with James Bond star Daniel Craig in 2017 “Logan Lucky” and also played the leading role in the HBO music-fueled series “Vinyl” produced by Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese.
Quaid told us that Jack was never forced to join the family business.
“We instilled in him a sense of independence,” said Quaid. “[But] he was always going to be an actor, so it seems. From the time he was three, he had a camera in his hand. He was making his own films, even as a child.
We do parties.
“Meg and I did not want him to experience the pressure of a child actor. He studied drama at school, just as I have done. Then he went to college at NYU for their film and acting program. When it came, he said that he wanted to go out there and act.”
And like his parents, Jack was determined to strive for Hollywood on his own terms.
“My agent has always wanted to represent him,” said Quaid. “So I offered him my agent. But he said: “No, father. I want to do it yourself.’ He didn’t want our help, that I could understand. So he went out and did that. He got an agent. His first film was ‘the Hunger Games’, and then he was in Scorsese’s ‘Vinyl.’ So I started to say, ‘Hey Jack! How about a little help here?” [But] I’m really very proud of him.”