‘Harvey Girls Forever!’s Jack Quaid on Richie Rich, His Love for Cartoons & More
Far from the bloody and raunchy content found in the Amazon Prime Video series, Quaid’s “first regular cartoon role” originates from classic Harvey Comics in which Richie Rich is pretty well known.
In an exclusive clip, hear Quaid in action as the genius kid looking to get in touch with his inner child. And for those less aware of the source material, Quaid is opening up down below about the role, his knowledge of the comics and more.
What brought you to this project? What attracted you to the character of Richie Rich?
Jack Quaid: I’ve always been such a huge fan of cartoons just from growing up. It started with Rugrats and SpongeBob, and then eventually evolved to some Simpsons and Futurama and Rick and Morty and Big Mouth. I had been auditioning with voice-over roles, and then Richie came along. At first I was like, “Okay, Richie Rich. How are they going to do this now, in this day and age, in this climate?” Because Richie, if you interpret him in the wrong way or a certain way these days, he’s basically a huge symbol of privilege, and inheriting money, and flaunting wealth.
Then I read the scripts, and I love this kid. He was a self-made billionaire, which I think was such a cool change. He was a person who just genuinely really wanted to figure out how to be a kid, because he realized he missed out on childhood, because he’s just that much of a genius. He’s super positive and inclusive and just curious. I really liked that about the interpretation of the character.
I just think this is such a great show for kids. It’s very progressive, but it’s not shoving that in your face. It’s a good thing to have in the world — the show. They’re able to talk about real issues, I think that’s so cool.
Shows like this are meant to teach lessons — it may be obvious, but what lesson do you think Richie Rich serves to teach?
Richie is a very positive kid, he always sees the bright side in everything. Throughout the course of the season, he starts to dip into different emotions, sometimes negative, and he realizes that it’s okay to be sad sometimes. It’s okay to be angry. Negative emotions aren’t all negative.
You’ve done voice work in the past. What makes that experience completely different than filming in front of the camera?
I had done a scratch track, and I did one video game before this, but this was my first series regular cartoon role. I learned so much, especially from Brendan Hay, one of the co-creators and show runners, and from Stephanie Lemelin and Kelly McCreary and Lauren Lapkus, who I was lucky enough to be in the booth with.
It’s very distinct from on-camera acting. You have to put everything into your voice. You have to register all the emotional shifts. I think I got better as the season went on. I think I learned as I went. It’s a lot harder than I think people think. Learning that was fascinating and amazing, and something I want to continue to explore.
Richie Rich is super into tech – do you feel connected to him in that way, or are you less into electronics?
It’s weird. I’m now realizing I play two comic book characters that are interested in tech — Hughie works at an electronics store — I just realized that. I’m not as smart as those two guys in terms of fixing things or inventing things. But I play video games, and I have a phone. I guess I’m into tech. I’m more digital than analog at this point.
Harvey Girls Forever! stems from Harvey comics. Were you familiar with the source material prior to working on the show?
I was familiar with the characters. I don’t think I quite put it together that they were all under one banner. I was familiar with Little Dot, Richie, and Casper and Wendy, but I didn’t realize that they were all from the Harvey Comics banner. It was a cool way to historically contextualize all of these characters that I heard about for years, and playing a character that’s decades old was really cool. To have my own interpretation of him as well was a dream come true for an actor.
What should viewers expect from Richie Rich this season?
You get to see Richie go from a genius billionaire to a genius billionaire kid. It’s almost like a coming of age story, but it’s like a coming of childhood story. He’s actively learning how to be a kid, and fit in, and just do all the stuff that kids love to do. I think that arc is very sweet and something I think people are just going to really enjoy, because I just loved playing it and watching it grow.
You’ve worked across many different genres. Is that important to you when looking for new roles? Doing something you haven’t before?
No. I think it’s just been luck, to be honest. Stuff has come my way as an audition, and I just tell people that represent me, “Hey. I love this thing, and I need to be a part of it.” Then I try my best to get the role.
I just feel super lucky to be a part of all these things that are not only different, but are stuff that I genuinely care about, and I think are amazing stories. It’s really just dumb blind luck. So I just feel really lucky.
Harvey Girls Forever!, New Episodes, Tuesday, November 12, Netflix