Dennis Quaid is often considered a part of the list of actors who have never been nominated for an Academy Award despite their excellent acting skills. From embodying Jim Morris in The Rookie to portraying President Bill Clinton in the HBO film The Special Relationship, the actor has proved his proficiency in acting.

Dennis Quaid in a still from The Day After Tomorrow
Dennis Quaid in a still from The Day After Tomorrow | Source: 20th Century Fox

Quaid’s most recent venture is the upcoming movie The Substance, in which he stars alongside Demi Moore. However, he was not the first choice for playing the character. The role he plays in the movie was actually supposed to be played by late Goodfellas star Ray Liotta. In a recent interview, the Dragonheart star opened up about this.

Dennis Quaid Dedicated His Performance to Late Actor Ray Liotta

Ray Liotta in a still from Goodfellas
Ray Liotta in a still from Goodfellas | Warner Bros. Pictures

The Substance, directed by Coralie Fargeat, is a body horror film in which Demi Moore appears as a celebrity losing her charm with increasing age. To salvage herself, she uses a black-market drug named after the movie. This drug works as a cell replicant and produces a young and better version (Margaret Qualley) of Moore’s character.

In February 2022, it was reported that Ray Liotta would appear in the movie (via JoBlo). However, he passed away in his sleep during the filming of Dangerous Waters in May 2022 (via BBC). The autopsy report released in 2023 stated the cause of Liotta’s death to be respiratory failure, pulmonary edema, and heart failure (via CBS News).

This sudden death led to him being replaced with Dennis Quaid in The Substance. Recently, in an interview with Variety, he dedicated his performance to Liotta.

In my heart, I dedicated this role to Ray Liotta, who was set to play it. It was this week, two years ago that he passed, so I’d like to remember him. He was such an incredible actor.

Quaid’s gesture is truly commendable. He also noted that the character he plays in the movie is that of an “a**hole”.

What Does Coralie Fargeat Want to Achieve With This Movie?

A still from The Substance
A still from The Substance | Source: Working Title Films

Some movies are made with the intent of delivering a message to society or shedding light on an issue that is not discussed enough. Coralie Fargeat’s The Substance takes a feminist take on the body horror genre.

The #MeToo movement was still there at the film festival this year if not a lot, and with the movement picking up pace in France, Fargeat told Variety that she believes that her movie could not be premiering at a better time.

It’s a little stone in the huge wall we still have to build regarding this issue, and to be honest, I hope my film will also be one of the stones of that wall. That’s really what I intended to do with it. 

The film was honored with an 11-minute standing ovation at the film festival (via Variety), which is a huge achievement considering this marked her Cannes debut.

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