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Fox News
Fox News
30 Nov 2023


"When Harry Met Sally" star Meg Ryan hit back at critics claiming that Jack Quaid, her son with ex-husband and actor Dennis Quaid, is a "nepo baby" – that he's gotten his Hollywood career thanks to his famous parents. 

"Jack is really talented. He's more of a natural than I'll ever be," Ryan said during a recent interview with Glamour.

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

SUSAN SARANDON'S DAUGHTER EVA AMURRI TALKS GROWING UP WITH CELEBRITY PARENTS, BEFRIENDING OTHER ‘NEPO-BABIES’

Meg Ryan and her son Jack Henry Quaid

Meg Ryan and her son Jack Henry Quaid are seen on March 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Ignat/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Ryan’s statements are the latest take regarding Hollywood’s trending "nepo baby" label, the short, dismissive term for Hollywood celebrities supposedly benefitting from nepotism, as opposed to those scraping for their big break in the industry.

Other famous people, including actress Zoe Kravitz (Grammy Award winner Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet), actress Maya Hawke (daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman), and actress Margaret Qualley (daughter of Andie MacDowell), have been accused of being "nepo babies" as well.

The "Sleepless In Seattle" star continued, mentioning how her son has been into acting from a young age and displayed natural talent. "I remember seeing him in a middle school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. He was playing Bottom," she explained, adding, "I was newly divorced from his dad, and he was seated at the other side of the gym.

Ryan described how, in that moment, she and "The Rookie" star realized her son was going places in the acting world, though she wasn’t exactly thrilled.

"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."

ANDIE MACDOWELL'S DAUGHTER MARGARET QUALLEY LEADS CELEBRITY KIDS TAKING OVER THE ACTING SCENE

Dennis and Jack Quaid hugging

Legendary actor Dennis Quaid posing with his son, actor Jack Quaid. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

The younger Quaid, who also starred in this summer’s blockbuster "Oppenheimer," has stated that he has come to terms with having mega-famous parents and rests easy knowing he’s put in the hard work to earn his roles.

He told entertainment outlet "Thrillist" last year, "I knew that people would constantly say, 'Oh, I know how he got that job.’ 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."

During that same interview, Quaid recalled how, early in his career, a casting director was shocked at his talent. He mentioned how she told him he was "actually really good," and mentioned that she expected him to "be a real a—hole," just relying on his parent’s Hollywood influence to get him the gig.

‘THE VIEW’ DEFENDS ‘NEPO BABIES’ IN DEBATE: 'NEPOTISM HAS BEEN GOING ON ALL OVER THE PLACE'

His father also mentioned how Quaid pushed to earn roles on his own from the beginning. During an interview on Kelly Clarkson’s daytime talk show years back, he said, "My agent wanted to represent him and he said ‘No. I want to do it on my own.’"

He continued, "And then, of course, he gets an agent on his own and his first movie is 'Hunger Games.' Then he gets in [Martin] Scorsese’s 'Vinyl' on television, which was the hottest show there was. Now he’s doing 'The Boys', which is the hottest thing on streaming. It’s a great show."

Fox News Digital’s Ashley Hume and Jessica Napoli contributed to this report. 

Gabriel Hays is an associate editor for Fox News Digital.