‘Reagan’: Dennis Quaid Speaks on the Biggest Challenge He Faced While Playing Ronald Reagan

by Joe Rutland

Dennis Quaid has played some solid characters throughout his career but taking on Ronald Reagan might be his biggest challenge yet. The actor also is a musician so seeing him portray Jerry Lee Lewis all those years ago isn’t a stretch. Taking on a President of the United States, though? Hoo boy, it’s definitely a role Quaid had to get his bearings about portraying. He talked about the different challenges of becoming Reagan that he had to face.

“Well, there’s the voice,” Quaid said in an interview with Cowboys & Indians Magazine. “You’re playing somebody that pretty much everybody in the world knows. How they walk, how they talk. To play him, well, I didn’t want to play him as a hero, even though he was one. I wanted to play the human being. Nobody thinks of themselves as a hero. I wanted to get down to the human being, to show what made him tick. He was a man who didn’t show his private side all that much. I think in some ways he may have been a mystery to himself.”

Dennis Quaid Almost Decided Against Being A Part of ‘Reagan’ Biopic

Reagan, as everyone knows, was an actor before getting into politics. The former Death Valley Days star was the governor of California then he would win the election to become president. Reagan served two terms in office. Quaid has big shoes to fill in this biopic so we’ll be watching to see how things work out.

Initially, though, he turned down being in this movie. Why did the famed actor do this? “I felt a tinge of fear up my spine and that’s when I said yes,” Dennis Quaid said in an interview with KCLU. “That’s usually when I should do something when it’s out of my comfort zone.” Others reportedly on board for Reagan in the cast include Jon Voight, Justin Chitin, Amanda Righetti, Penelope Ann Miller, and Mean Suvari. Here’s something you might not know about the actor who will be Reagan. Quaid said he actually voted twice for the late president.

The actor also said that Reagan was his favorite president as well. While the nervousness was there, it sounds like he made a great choice in portraying such a unique individual. As a musician, he gravitated to playing the guitar. Quaid also recalls that the first song he attempted to learn to play is The Doors’ classic Light My Fire. It didn’t work out too well for him as a beginning player. But he also would say that Johnny Cash influenced him, too. He would add that Cash wrote story songs. Quaid adds that it’s something that he likes to do, too.