Meg Ryan dismisses 'nepo baby' label given to her son Jack Quaid

Meg Ryan comes to defense of her and ex Dennis Quaid’s son Jack as she slams critics for ‘nepo baby’ label: ‘It is so dismissive of his work ethic’

Meg Ryan has come to her son’s defense after hearing people label him a ‘nepo baby’, a term used to describe children of celebrity parents that insinuates their success is largely due to their fame.

Jack Quaid, now 31, made his film debut in The Hunger Games (2012), alongside Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, and has since gone on to build an impressive Hollywood resume.

More recently, the son of Ryan and her ex-husband Dennis Quaid has starred in the Scream (2022) reboot, the biographical thriller Oppenheimer (2023), and three seasons of the satirical superhero series The Boys.

As the roles mount up, it has become more commonplace for critics to slap a ‘nepo baby’ label on up-and-coming artists like Quaid, which is not going over well with his protective mom.

‘Jack is really talented. He’s more of a natural than I’ll ever be,’ the When Harry Met Sally… (1989) star told Glamour magazine.

‘That nepo stuff is so dismissive of his work ethic, his gifts, and how sensitive he is to the idea of his privilege.’

Meg Ryan, 62, is defending her son Jack Quaid from people who have labeled him a ‘nepo baby’, which attributes their success in showbiz to their famous parents

When reflecting back to when Jack was a youngster, and still finding his way through school, the one-time rom-com queen remembers a particular moment when she realized his destiny would likely include being an actor.

‘I remember seeing him in a middle school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ Ryan, 62 recalled. ‘He was playing Bottom.’

At the time of the school play, Quaid had just watched his parents go through a separation that led to their divorce in 2001.

‘I was newly divorced from his dad, and he was seated at the other side of the gym,’ Ryan explained. ‘I had my head in my hands and was like, ‘Oh, no. He’s good. He’s really good.’ 

And it turns out her newly divorced ex-husband had the exact same reaction to seeing him display his talents on stage. 

‘I leaned forward, and I see Dennis, and he’s also leaning forward with his head in his hands. I just knew,’ she said of the shared moment as a parent.

Their reactions to his acting talents were one of a proud parent, but there’s also a sense of hesitation over the idea that he will face countless rejections as the public’s eye, and unwanted cruel scrutiny like those who have lumped him into the nepo baby category.

‘You don’t wish it [on anyone]. It’s too hard and it’s too weird,’ Ryan added. 

Quaid was among the celebrity children who were named in a New York magazine piece last year with the headline, She Has Her Mother’s Eyes. And Agent.

The story delves into the seemingly growing phenomenon of kids born to famous people who themselves seek a career in show business.

Quaid was actually one of a number of actors pictured on the cover with their adult head superimposed on an infant’s body.

‘That nepo stuff is so dismissive of his work ethic, his gifts, and how sensitive he is to the idea of his privilege,’ the proud mom said of her son’s career; they are seen in 2016

Along with his mother being 1990s screen queen Meg Ryan, Jack’s father is longtime Hollywood leading man Dennis Quaid; father and son are seen in 2015

After making his film debut in the Hunger Games (2012), Quaid, 31, has built up a solid Hollywood resume the includes three seasons on the Amazon Prime Video series The Boys

Ryan’s interview in Glamour magazine is part of her promotional push for her new romantic comedy film What Happens Later, which she directed and co-wrote

Some of the others on the cover include Dakota Johnson (daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith), John David Washington (son of Denzel Washington and Pauletta Washington), Maya Hawke (daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman), Zoe Kravitz (daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet), Lily-Rose Depp (daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis), and Maude Apatow (daughter of Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann.

Ryan has been out promoting her latest romantic comedy film, What Happens Later, which she not only stars with David Duchovny, she also serves as the director working from a screenplay she co-wrote with Steven Dietz and Kirk Lynn.

The film follows two exes who, after bumping into each other when their flights get delayed due to a snow storm, spend the night at the airport reliving their past, according to Wikipedia.

Her career highlights as an actress include roles in Top Gun (1986), When Harry Met Sally… (1989), The Doors (1991), Sleepless In Seattle (1993), When A Man Loves A Woman (1994), French Kiss (1995), Courage Under Fire (1996), City Of Angels (1998) and You’ve Got Mail (1998), among others.

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