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The Roy Faires Collection, no. 2 - Interview with Dennis Quaid (1987)

Austin History Center

Sound | 1987

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  •  Roy Faires asks Dennis Quaid about his character in Innerspace (1986) 
  •  Austin as a major center for actors 
  •  Filming in central Texas versus Hollywood 
  •  Dennis Quaid and the Fabulous Thunderbirds, a Grammy-nominated blues rock band from Austin formed in 1974 
  •  Benefits of Texas film crews 
  •  Quaid’s role in D.O.A. (1988) 
  •  The complications of science fiction 
  •  Quaid’s role in Innerspace 
  •  Faires asks for an autograph 
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In this unedited interview for Austin’s KVUE-TV, Roy Faires sits down with actor Dennis Quaid (a Houston native) to talk about his latest film Innerspace (1987), also starring Martin Short and Meg Ryan. Quaid discusses his roots in Houston and the benefits of filming in central Texas for his film D.O.A. (1988), from the friendly crews to the music scene of Austin. Faires questions Quaid about his characters in both Innerspace and D.O.A.

Dennis Quaid is an actor born in Houston on April 9, 1954, to William Rudy Quaid and Juanita “Nita” Bonniedale Jordan. He has one brother, Randy, who is also an actor. He grew up in Houston’s Bellaire neighborhood and studied drama at the University of Houston. Encouraged by his brother’s acting success, Quaid dropped out of school to try his own luck in Hollywood. He struggled for a few years to earn more than minor roles in films and TV movies before gaining some recognition in 1979 for Breaking Away. He married actress P.J. Soles that year, but they divorced in 1983. He found more success in the 1980s with a steady stream of film roles, such as The Right Stuff (1983), Enemy Mine (1985), The Big Easy (1986), and Great Balls of Fire! (1989).

Quaid had been struggling with substance abuse when he met Meg Ryan on the set of Innerspace in 1987. After getting clean, he and Ryan married in 1991 and had a son, Jack Henry, the following year. During the nineties, Quaid appeared in such films as Wyatt Earp (1994) and The Parent Trap (1998). He and Meg Ryan divorced in 2000.

With the release of Far From Heaven in 2002, Quaid received more critical recognition. His role earned him an Independent Spirit Award and a New York Film Critics Circle Award, as well as Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe nominations. He married for the third time in 2004, to Kimberly Buffington, a Texas real-estate agent, with whom he had twins Thomas Boone and Zoe Grace.

Quaid has continued appearing in films in the last decade, including The Day After Tomorrow (2004) and Footloose (2011). He also has shown in an interest in charity work, particularly with the “Dennis Quaid Charity Weekend,” an annual  golf tournament held in Austin that raises money for local children’s charities.