Meg Ryan defends her son Jack Quaid from 'nepo baby' criticism: 'He's more of a natural than I'll ever be'

Meg Ryan has defended her son against the 'nepo baby' label.
Meg Ryan has defended her son Jack Quaid against the 'nepo baby' label.Taylor Hill/WireImage/Getty Images, Phillip Faraone/FilmMagic/Getty Images
  • Meg Ryan has defended her son Jack Quaid from "nepo baby" criticism.

  • She told Glamour it was "dismissive" of his work ethic to suggest he has benefited from nepotism.

  • Jack previously said he considered changing his name to distance himself from his famous parents.

Meg Ryan has defended her son Jack Quaid against claims that he's gotten his Hollywood career thanks to his famous parents.

Speaking to Glamour, Ryan said that her son, who she shares with "The Parent Trap" star Dennis Quaid, isn't deserving of the "nepo baby" label, which is often used about children of celebrity parents.

The "You've Got Mail" actor said: "Jack is really talented. He's more of a natural than I'll ever be."

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

Ryan said she and her ex-husband Dennis Quaid knew that their son — who made his movie debut with a minor role in "The Hunger Games" — had natural talent since he was young.

John Mellencamp, Meg Ryan and Jack Quaid attend the New York Knicks Vs Philadelphia 76ers game at Madison Square Garden on December 25, 2017 in New York City.
Meg Ryan and her son Jack Quaid photographed together in 2017.James Devaney/Getty Images

"I remember seeing him in a middle school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. He was playing Bottom," she said.

"I was newly divorced from his dad, and he was seated at the other side of the gym. I had my head in my hands and was like, 'Oh, no. He's good. He's really good.' I leaned forward, and I see Dennis, and he's also leaning forward with his head in his hands. I just knew," she continued.

Jack went on to play Hughie Campbell in the satirical superhero series "The Boys" and has also starred in the likes of "Oppenheimer" and "Scream."

Weighing in on the nepo baby discourse, which was kickstarted by a New York Magazine story in 2022, Jack said his celebrity parents "don't really give" him acting advice.

He told People: "I've never asked them, 'How should I perform this scene?' The way that this business works is so much different than the way that it worked back then for them."

Jack Quaid as Hughie on season three, episode eight of "The Boys."
Jack Quaid as Hughie on season three, episode eight of "The Boys."Prime Video

However, he recognized that having two parents in Hollywood made it easier to pursue his dreams of being an actor himself.

"I had the privilege and I was lucky to have people that understood what that meant and supported me going into it," he said.

But he previously told Thrillist that he had considered changing his last name to distance himself from his famous father's help — and even declined an offer to share his agent.

"I knew that people would constantly say, 'Oh, I know how he got that job,'" he said. "And they're still going to say that. It's fine. But as long as I knew how I got there, that would be enough."

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