Jack Quaid Gets Comfortable in His Own Skin

Quaid can easily connect with fanboys/girls because, at heart, that’s him, too. It jumped out recently when he was filming a role in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming historical drama Oppenheimer along with what feels like half of young Hollywood. (He can’t really divulge his role because, despite the fact that the film is about the construction of the atom bomb and based on real events, Nolan’s secrecy takes precedent.) One day, star Cillian Murphy, whose collaborations with Nolan include the Dark Knight trilogy, approached Quaid and some others on set and asked if they wanted to go see The Batman starring Robert Pattinson. “I’m like, ‘Cool. I get to see Batman with Cillian Murphy,'” he remembers. “But then it dawned on me. Scarecrow just asked me if I wanted to see Batman.”

Oppenheimer won’t come out until 2023, and for now, following this whirlwind press trip to New York, Quaid plans to lay low at home in Los Angeles in preparation to head back to Toronto to film The Boys Season 4. But relaxing isn’t exactly in his blood, and he’s working on pitching a series with some friends. “The big dream for me is to be in something that I had at hand in writing,” he says. “I have a few things that could go in that direction, and that’s the path that I’m trying to get on right now.” It’s perhaps why this part of New York we’ve been wandering through is so potent for him, even though he dropped out of NYU after his third year. He still craves that “let’s put on a show” energy of college and does regular performances with a group called Sasquatch Sketch Comedy. After all, his childhood idol was Jim Carrey. “I would love to be in more things that just give me the opportunity to be a straight-up goof,” he says. A recent Sasquatch gig at Dynasty Typewriter in Los Angeles was the beneficiary of Quaid’s higher profile. “People came out who were fans of Scream and fans of The Boys,” he says. “And that had never really hit us. I was signing autographs outside of the theater. It was very weird, but we drew in a crowd.”

Fame is different for Quaid than it was for his parents when he was a kid. “I think they were famous in a time where it was scarier to be famous,” he says. His biggest brush with the voyeuristic side of the business, arguably, has been the notorious Instagram account DeuxMoi’s obsession with him, posting reports sent in about his whereabouts and detailing fan interactions. “I didn’t know it existed,” he says.

Quaid used to go to Forbidden Planet when he was in college, picking up Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Now he’s leafing through an edition of The Boys with his face on the cover, peeking over the top to pose for the camera. There’s a tiny hint of discomfort present when he’s handed the book—”Oh, well, cool,” he says—but, generally, he relishes that he’s in projects that make people excited. That is, when they aren’t condemning his bare butt.

“I’m a very anxious person,” Quaid says. “I think in the beginning, I was like, ‘Oh, do people like me? Do they think that I’m just riding my parents’ coattails?’ and all this stuff. Then lately, I’ve been making an effort to focus on that less and just really trying to embrace this. Because you’re only going to do this once. It’s cool that I get to be in things that I genuinely would like to watch if I wasn’t in them.”

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Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.

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