Ever since he first portrayed Marvel in The Hunger Games franchise, Jack Quaid has quickly become someone to watch within the pop culture world. The actor (and son of Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan) has had some pretty memorable performances in recent years, most notably in Amazon Prime’s original series The Boys. The darkly-comedic superhero series, which is based on the comic series of the same name, stars Quaid as Hugh “Hughie Campbell”, a young man who decides to join the titular vigilante group after a superhero violently kills his girlfriend.
Later this week, audiences will get to see Quaid portray a wildly different kind of comic book character, as he joins the ensemble cast of Netflix’s Harvey Girls Forever!. The family-friendly animated series will see Quaid voicing Richie Rich, the “world’s richest kid” who has popped up in comics since the 1950s. While Richie Rich has been adapted several times in recent decades – namely in a 1994 movie starring Macaulay Culkin – there’s something delightful and genuinely entertaining about Quaid’s take on the character.
We recently had the chance to speak to Quaid about Harvey Girls Forever!, just in time for Season 3’s debut on Netflix. We also got a chance to talk about The Boys‘ highly-anticipated sophomore season, his role in the upcoming animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks, and what it’s been like to be part of so many beloved franchises.
ComicBook.com: What drew you to playing this version of Richie Rich?
Jack Quaid: I’ve always been such a fan of cartoons, just like from when I was a kid to now. I mean, you know, people make cartoons for adults, for kids, for everybody, and I’ve always been such a cartoon nerd. I was doing some auditions, and then Richie came along, and at first, I was like, “Oh Richie Rich, how are they going to modernize this?” Because this character could be given the wrong interpretation in this modern-day and age. In a lot of ways, he’s a symbol of privilege and inheriting money and flaunting your wealth.
But I just love what they did with them. First of all, the made him a self-made billionaire, which I think is amazing. And the fact that he’s just a genuinely curious kid who missed out on childhood because he’s a genius, and he wants to learn how to be a kid in the most clinical, positive way possible. I just thought that was such an adorable, amazing take on a classic character. The fact that I get to play a character who was created in, I believe, the ’40’s. That’s just very, very cool and it’s an honor. I’m very excited about it.
Were you familiar with the Richie Rich and Harvey Comics world before you signed on? I know there was the movie in the ’90s, so did that or any of the other adaptations influence you at all?
No, actually. I haven’t watched the Macaulay Culkin Richie Rich [movie]. I think I will now, or I could now, but back then, I didn’t really want anything else swaying me one way or the other. I just wanted to read it how I was going to read it and come up with my own interpretation. Because sometimes I feel like if I watch what other people have done with the character, somehow that gets into my psyche, and I wind up imitating that thing even though I’m not trying to. So I steer clear of a lot of interpretations. Also, because this was such a new and different take on the character.
What was the process of recording like? I’ve talked to some of the cast before, and they made it sound like the whole thing is very collaborative.
I got to directly interact with a lot of people. Specifically Stephanie Lemelin, who plays Audrey. Somehow our schedules always lined up for where we were recording together. And I also saw Lauren Lapkus and Kelly McCreary a lot. They schedule it so that anytime we can all be in the same room together, we can.
But yeah, some days I would go in solo. But it was just great, anytime I was in the room with any other voice actors, to play off of them and get a sense of their energy. The three Harvey girls taught me so much about voice acting. This was my first cartoon. So just watching them and listening to them and seeing what they were doing with their characters really helped me. And in just getting the ins and outs of voice acting. Stephanie, fun fact, was my babysitter at one point in my life.
Yeah, it was actually insane. I went in there, and the show hadn’t come out yet, and I was like “Whoa, Stephanie?” and we were working together for a while. So it was just this very random moment, where she immediately called me out and she was like, “I used to babysit this kid.” And I was like, “Okay, this will be a nice first day.” But she’s incredible. The whole cast is just incredible and I’ve been lucky to work with them.
Is there a sequence or an episode of Season 3 that you were especially excited about recording?
Oh man. What I really like about Richie this season, is that he’s a kid that’s just so uber positive. And throughout the course of the season, you get to see him delve into other feelings, instead of just being happy and positive and psyched about everything. He starts to feel all the feels, if you will. And understand that it’s okay to have negative emotions sometimes. I can’t really give anything away, but we do some cool stuff later in the season. That was my favorite stuff to discover. I was like a kid discovering his feelings, I think was really a cool thing to do.
You said that this series is your first foray into voice acting, and I know you’re also involved with the new Star Trek animated series, Star Trek: Lower Decks. How did working on Harvey Girls Forever! influence that? And what has the experience of that series been like?
Oh my God. It just gave me all the tools, or a lot of tools, to bring into the booth with me. One thing I think that is so different to me than regular acting, there are things… regular acting, that sounds awful. Voice acting is so different to me than on-screen acting. Because it’s a lot of, I don’t think people realize… I think people sometimes think you go into a room, and you just, you know, you do a voice, and that’s it. But it has, there’s so much more to it that the cast of Harvey Girls Forever! – and one of the showrunners, Brendan Hay – taught me, that I brought into every voice project I’ve done since. And man, I credit Harvey Girls Forever! for just any skill I have as a voiceover actor. I’d give it to Harvey Girls Forever!. They are incredible.
So I brought that in to Star Trek: Lower Decks. That’s been amazing too. We’re in the middle of recording that now. To get to be a part of that world, in any way, is so cool. That show is just, it’s very different from Harvey Girls. It’s way more adult, but it’s so hilarious and surprisingly sweet and very Trek. Fans of Star Trek will get little inferences and things that we sprinkled throughout the show, but also, I think it’s very accessible for people who don’t know a ton of lore as well. It’s just like a fun show in space.
I have to ask about Season 2 of The Boys. I’m sure you can’t tease a whole lot, but what can audiences expect going into season two?
Oh man, no one is ready for Season 2. It’s just absolutely bonkers. I’ll just put it this way, the scale is a lot bigger. I think we’ve topped season one, in terms of insane moments that make you say ‘What the hell?’ I’ve done things this season that are definite firsts for me in my career, and I probably won’t do them again since. Definitely a moment… I can’t give it away, but when you see it, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
And I think we’ve gotten way deeper with every single character on the show. It’s bigger, but it’s a lot deeper with everyone. And I think that that’s what’s important about Season 2 is not that you just go bigger and have more fights – which we totally have – but that you really delve into the characters and understand what makes them tick. And I know from Huey’s perspective, we get into a lot of that. So yeah. I’m just really excited for people to see season two. I think it’s even better than season one, in my opinion.
You’re involved with so many different things that are kind of in the space of nerd culture. So I wanted to ask what you are nerdy about?
First of all, I’m just very thankful to be in things that are considered nerd culture. Because that’s just… I mean, going to Comic-Con this year, and getting to do a Star Trek panel at Hall H was like… I was freaking the fuck out. It was insane. It was just insane. I’m such a nerd, so I’m actively nerding out about the things that I’m involved with.
What do I nerd out about? I’m a big Star Wars fan. I’m a Star Trek fan as well. But that’s kind of where my nerddom, if you will, started. I would just sit at home, and I think we had the VHS box set of the first trilogy. I watched A New Hope a lot as a kid growing up. So I think that’s where, if I could trace anything back, I would probably trace it back to the original Star Wars trilogy. Oh, and Back to the Future. Back to the Future is just incredible.
You’ve played around in all of these different franchises, and between Richie Rich and The Boys, you’ve dealt with a lot of comic book properties. But is there a certain franchise or character that you really would want to play?
Ooh. Man, I really want to be in a Star Wars movie, to double down on my Star Wars. I don’t care, I’ll wear those CGI unitards and be a droid. Or I’ll go into a metal box to be a droid. I don’t care. Like if I’m just in it in some small way, that would be insane.
I think, literally, I can be like a falling leaf in a Star Wars movie and I would be happy. I’d take whatever. As long as I’m in there. I’m good.
Season 3 of Harvey Girls Forever! will be released on Netflix on Tuesday, November 12th.