Dennis Quaid: ‘Soul Surfer’ hits close to home

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For actor Dennis Quaid, the draw of the new film ‘Soul Surfer’ was about more than a few weeks of surfing and a Helen Hunt reunion.

The inspiring tale of Bethany Hamilton, who returned to surfing after surviving a shark attack that took her left arm when she was only 13, offered a chance to connect with his own family’s survival story.

He’s no stranger to kids in crisis: In 2007, his newborn fraternal twins were caught in a major health scare after they were given 1,000 times the normal dose of heparin, a blood thinner.


‘I really do believe it was the power of prayer from a bunch of people that saved our kids’ lives from the near-fatal accident,’ he told the Ministry. ‘You feel so helpless in those situations, you just want to save them.’

His ‘Soul Surfer’ character Tom Hamilton has those too-familiar pangs, but both stories held the same result. ‘We had a happy ending with our kids,’ Quaid said.

Now Quaid and his family are focused on planting deeper roots, having recently moved from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas, where the actor’s mother will soon relocate.

‘L.A. has been good to us,’ he said, ‘but at this point in my life I’m ready to try something new.’

Quaid is in and out of the studio with his band the Sharks and will focus on raising his kids with wife Kimberly. And though brother Randy Quaid may be occupied in his own way, the family’s acting legacy isn’t going away any time soon.

Dennis’ eldest son Jack -- who turns 19 this month, and whose mom is actress Meg Ryan -- is currently studying drama at New York University, ‘doing it the right way, studying, doing plays and making his own movies.’

‘Soul Surfer’ is currently in theaters.


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-- Matt Donnelly