19-year-old Jack Quaid makes his big-screen acting debut in the highly anticipated adaptation of "The Hunger Games." And though it's his first time in front of movie cameras, Quaid is no stranger to the spotlight. That's because he's the son of Hollywood heavyweights Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan.
"I've been on sets my whole life," Quaid told Interview Magazine. "But this is the first time in front of the camera and not in a chair with Sour Patch Kids from the craft services truck. It was a new sensation. It was weird . . . I really liked it." Quaid is currently studying Theater at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He had previously appeared in short films that can be seen on Funny or Die, but "The Hunger Games" is his first professional experience.
In the film, Quaid plays Marvel, one of the 24 "Tributes" chosen to compete in the televised games where teenagers are forced to battle to the death. Quaid said about his character, "I wouldn't say he's the sharpest tool in the shed, but he is ecstatic to be there and he just goes for it."
[Photos: Then and Now: 'The Hunger Games' Stars]
The character of Marvel is one of the "Career Tributes" who have been preparing since childhood to compete in the Games (unlike Katniss, who volunteers to keep her younger sister from being chosen). This required Quaid to show his bloodthirsty side at his audition. He told People Magazine that part of his casting session involved choosing a fake weapon to wield: "It was between a Nerf crossbow, an Airsoft gun and a plastic knife. I chose the knife."
Quaid said shooting the movie was "brutal at times." He recalled, "We had torrential downpours, flooding, scorching heat and then a bear would wander onto the set. But it was an amazing bonding experience. We definitely all had a great story to tell about what we did on our summer vacation." He said in Interview that he was also warned that he might have to face the backlash from fans because of his character's dastardly acts: "When I got cast, I was told that people would be spitting on me in the streets."
Quaid and his "Hunger Games" costars have been touring the country to promote the film, and it all culminates in the gigantic Los Angeles premiere this coming Monday. You can catch all of the stars as they arrive for the premiere with our exclusive live coverage of the red carpet. Tune in March 12 at 8:30pm ET/5:30pm PT only on Yahoo! Movies.
"The Hunger Games" opens March 23.