Dennis Quaid revealed this fear he faced about trying to play Ronald Reagan

Jul 10, 2024

Veteran actor Dennis Quaid took on the most challenging role of his career.

He brought America’s 40th President to life on the big screen. 

And Dennis Quaid revealed this fear he faced about trying to play Ronald Reagan. 

Dennis Quaid stars as Ronald Reagan in new biopic

Veteran actor Dennis Quaid is starring as Ronald Reagan in the biopic Reagan, which is set to be released on August 30.

The movie follows Reagan’s life from his boyhood in Illinois to his time in Hollywood and finally leading the country during the Cold War as President.

“He was my favorite President, and I think the greatest president of the 20th century, for sure,” Quaid told The Christian Post. “Everybody knows what Ronald Reagan looked like. He’s one of the most recognizable people in the world, like Muhammad Ali.”

Portraying such a widely known public figure was a challenge for Quaid.

The 70-year-old actor said that playing Reagan “sent fear” through him initially because he needed to show a side of the late President that the public didn’t see on TV.

“The public Reagan — that’s kind of easy, but that’s kind of an impersonation,” Quaid explained. “I wanted to get to feel him at his core.”

Quaid traveled to the Reagan Ranch in Santa Barbara, California, to get a feel for the man he was portraying.

“Driving up those 5 miles of bad road, getting to the top of that mountain where his place was at, I could really feel him as a person,” Quaid recalled. “Reagan, I realized, was a humble man.”

Ronald Reagan had a connection to his humble roots in Illinois

Quaid noted that the Reagans’ home at the ranch displayed the late President’s humble roots.

“They had a king-size bed that was two single beds zip-tied together,” Quaid said. “Three remote controls to operate the television with a note from Nancy on how to do it. I could really feel him, and that’s what compelled me to say yes to doing the movie.”

The veteran actor said he had to work to discover the side of Reagan the public never saw. 

“When I play real people, I feel like I have a responsibility to portray them from their point of view, and it took me a while to really get there,” Quaid explained. “Despite the great communicator that Ronald Reagan was, there was also a very private part of himself that made him difficult to really know.”

Quaid said that Reagan’s faith played an important role in his journey from Hollywood to the White House.

“Nancy, his wife, probably knew him better than anybody, and said there was a place there, too, that was difficult to penetrate,” Quaid said. “I think that that had to do with his relationship with God; it was very private. [The movie] was an honor to do, and I think we portray him as a human being like all of us.”

He added that the role became his favorite during his nearly 50 years in Hollywood.

“I’ve always said that The Right Stuff was my favorite movie. Reagan has knocked that off the top spot. It’s my favorite movie that I’ve ever done,” Quaid stated.

Fans of the 40th President can watch his amazing life play out on the big screen this summer.

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