Dennis Quaid's Marital Demons
Art imitates life in the intriguing HBO teleplay Dinner with Friends debuting Aug. 11 starring Dennis Quaid, Andie MacDowell, Greg Kinnear and Toni Collette as a quartet of married pals rocked by infidelity. Given his own widely publicized marital woes with Meg Ryan, Quaid fully expects this choice of subject matter to raise eyebrows. But clearly, the gracious actor won't shy away from sharing his take on the state of modern matrimony in Hollywood and elsewhere.
"Well, I just think there's no guarantees in life," Quaid tells TV Guide Online. "I don't think it's necessarily hopeless. I mean, I have seen examples of people who stayed married their entire lives. But there's just no guarantee. No matter how good it looks on the outside, or seems at first, you just don't know."
Quaid adds candidly that doing Dinner wasn't "just a masturbation" or a "therapeutic" device to exorcise his personal demons. "You know," he says, "I didn't go into this thinking, 'Oh, well I just had a divorce, so I have to do this role.' It happened to come up, it was a well-written piece, and I couldn't pass that up."
Even so, he certainly resonated with many of the emotional qualities of his character, Gabe. "Like me," Quaid says, "[he has] his sense of family, his devotion to his family and his kids. And I'm also one of those people... He doesn't like change, and I'm one of those people who's dragged kicking and screaming into change."
As Quaid's onscreen wife, MacDowell helps him serve up some down-to-earth realities in Dinner
. (Let's hope the actress takes them to heart, since she just accepted an engagement ring this week from her childhood pal, Atlanta jeweler Rhett Hartzog
!) "The whole romantic idea of marriage is just exactly that," she says. "It's a romantic idea. It's not all high times and good fun, and you really have to work at keeping whatever it was that you had in the very beginning. It doesn't always happen. It's great if it does, and there is hope in the film."