"If you can’t be good, be careful, and if you can’t be careful, be quiet"
Article Credits: Phil Thompson / The Interview Feed
Photo Credits: © CAMERA PRESS
Dennis Quaid has lived quite a life. He was married various times (among others to Meg Ryan), has lived through enormous success, and has struggled with various addicitons. He talks about fatherhood, aging, and the early days.
Question (Q): More and more big movie stars transfer over to TV these days. Is television the new bread and butter for actors today?
Dennis Quaid (DQ):I have been circling TV for two, three years now. I like the stories on TV these days. You don’t see them in the movies anymore. I don’t mind spending the next six or seven years doing this new job on "Vegas."
Q: You became a father in your 30s and then again in your 50s. What’s different the second time around?
DQ: I love raising my two little kids now. They are five years old. It’s a lot easier now. They are now entering the age of reason.
Q: What do you mean?
DQ: Well, when they are little, and I believe the "terrible twos" are really the "terrible threes", they want everything, they don’t listen. Now you can explain things to them. And they’ve gotten funnier, they listen more.
Q: Are you a different kind of father today than you were with your first son?
DQ: Yes, you don’t worry so much. I know they will have to go to college, and won’t be wearing pull-ups for the rest of their life. I am more concerned that we are having a lot of fun with the kids. I am not allowing myself to think that I have a girl now, and that boys will be coming at some point.
Q: Do the twins already understand what daddy does for a living?
DQ: They think Daddy’s job is to be on the side of buses on posters and billboards. I took my daughter to the set, and she said it’s taking too long. I think she got bored.
Q: What is it about the infamous Dennis Quaid-charm? How would you describe it?
DQ: Just be yourself (laughs). And try to stay out of trouble. If you can’t be good, be careful, and if you can’t be careful, be quiet.
Q: Speaking of trouble. You’ve had your problems with drugs in the past. How did you learn to cope with personal demons?
DQ: Listen, I am a man of faith. All one has to do is open one's heart and ask, and God will be there. It's certainly been a good influence in my life.
Q: They say, the most surprising thing about you is how funny you are. Is that true?
DQ: Well, you’ve got to take life as it comes. Not everything is a laughing matter in life, but you have to be open to laughter and enjoy the good moments in life. It’s important, it keeps you afloat.
Q: How much longer do you think you will work?
DQ: I will work until they have to put me in in a wheel chair and lift me on my horse. I still enjoy it. I really do.
Q: Do you still do most of your own stunts. I mean, you are not getting any younger…
DQ: These days I just show up and see what the stunt guys come up with. I am an athlete. I still like to have some fun with it. I’ve never gotten in a fistfight outside of a movie. But I have done hundreds of fistfights on screen.
Q: What makes "Vegas" so timely today?
DQ: People are still dreamers and seekers, and trying to make it in this world. It’s still about community and family. And what humans are capable of – all of that you can be found in "Vegas."
Q: What is the status of Hollywood today, in your opinion?
DQ: Most movies today are remakes or based on a video game. I can count the films I am interested in on one hand.
Q: Do you remember how you started out?
DQ: Oh, yeah, absolutely. My trailer was my car. It was simple and cool. Life was easier then.
Q: You were once married to Meg Ryan. What is your take on Hollywood marriages these days?
DQ: You know, it’s not easy to put two actors together. There is all this traveling. Oftentimes it ends up being a long distance relationship. You don’t see each other that much, and it wears on you.
Q: Is it important for you to be known, to be a celebrity?
DQ: It kind of comes with the territory. But I never really sought out much publicity. I just want to live my life and enjoy my friends and family. I am not much different from anybody else out there.