Dennis Quaid is gearing up to play former President Ronald Reagan in Reagan, a biopic that will showcase Reagan's life from childhood through his presidency. As preparation for the role, Quaid has been spending some time at Reagan's old Rancho del Cielo in California, just north of Santa Barbara. The 688-acre ranch served as an escape for him and Nancy during his presidency. Reagan unwound on the ranch by chopping wood, clearing brush and, of course, horseback riding.
NBC's Megyn Kelly recently caught up with Quaid at the ranch. In their conversation, he shared his admiration for the Gipper and how he prepared for the role. Quaid became so familiar with the Reagan Ranch that he gave Kelly a tour of the grounds and the house, which included quirky items like the jackalopes on the wall and the miniature Liberty Bell shower head. Quaid was moved by how humble an abode it was.
He also explained to Kelly how honored he is to portray the 40th president on screen.
“Well, he was my favorite president of my life," Quaid said. "There’s so many things that he did that changed my life and the world for the better.”
Kelly pressed Quaid to name a few of those things.
“For one thing, ending the Cold War," Quaid noted. "And he brought back a sense of common sense. He stuck to his guns and his principles. He was a great man and a humble man.”
It seemed the only thing Quaid was a bit nervous about was learning to horseback ride Western style. He prefers English.
Reagan is expected to hit theaters in 2019. Producer Mark Joseph did his homework, meeting and interviewing Reagan's friends, former cabinet members, and even the man who saved his life. The film will be directed by Sean McNamara, who recently directed The Miracle Season.