‘Parent Trap’ star Elaine Hendrix talks age gap with Dennis Quaid: ‘I thought we had tremendous chemistry’

Elaine Hendrix was 26 years old when she was cast as Dennis Quaid’s on-screen girlfriend in “The Parent Trap.” And despite their age differences, the two hit it off immediately.

“I thought we had tremendous chemistry,” the actress told Insider on Wednesday. “… I think it worked well.”

At the time, Quaid was a “younger” 44 years old – 18 years her senior. However, in the 1998 romantic comedy, the two have a noticeable age gap.

“Clearly, [my character] Meredith Blake is not an average 26-year-old,” the now-50-year-old explained. “All of that I couldn’t relate to. But how together she was and how ambitious she was – that I could definitely relate to.”

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Dennis Quaid and Elaine Hendrix in ‘The Parent Trap’ (1998).

Dennis Quaid and Elaine Hendrix in ‘The Parent Trap’ (1998). (Walt Disney Productions)

In 2019, Quaid, now 67, became engaged to doctoral student Laura Savoie, who is 39 years younger. The couple eloped in 2020.

Quaid and Savoie first met at a business event before they started dating in 2019, People magazine reported. The star, who has been previously married three times, insisted “it was love at first sight.”

Savoie, originally from St. Louis, attended Pepperdine University where she was class valedictorian, the outlet reported. She went on to get a master’s degree in accountancy at the University of Notre Dame.

“I just love who she is as a person,” said Quaid. “Her character, her intelligence, of course, her beauty. And her point of view of the world.”

Savoie said she “has never met someone who is so in love with life.”

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Dennis Quaid and Laura Savoie eloped on June 2, 2020, in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Dennis Quaid and Laura Savoie eloped on June 2, 2020, in Santa Barbara, Calif. (Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for YouTube)

“It’s like nothing can bring him down,” she explained. “Just getting to do life with someone who lives that way is inspiring for me. It changes my perspective and it brings so much joy to every day.”

In late 2019, Quaid opened up to The Guardian about facing criticism for dating a younger woman.

“That was really a laugh,” he said at the time. “I thought it was wonderful actually.”

The “Parent Trap” star said that he and Savoie aren’t taking the commentary personally.

“No, it really doesn’t bother us,” he insisted. “Everyone comes from the perspective of their own life and so I can’t comment on the way they feel; I can’t even get angry.”

Quaid also shared it was never his intention to find someone Savoie’s age.

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Dennis Quaid was previously married to actress Meg Ryan. The 10-year marriage ended in 2001.

Dennis Quaid was previously married to actress Meg Ryan. The 10-year marriage ended in 2001. ( Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)

“I didn’t go out looking for an age gap or someone really younger than me,” he explained. “I met her at a business event and then the relationship developed.

“You have no control over who you fall in love with,” he continued. “I don’t fall in love easily. But I can’t let what a few people think control all that. I’ve been married three times and this is the final one, I know it is. I feel like I have a real partner in life.”

Quaid previously dated longtime girlfriend Santa Auzina, whom he was last photographed within December 2018, People reported. The couple, who were together for a little over two years, began dating after Quaid split from his wife of 12 years, Kimberly Buffington, in 2016. The former pair finalized their divorced in April 2018.

Quaid was previously married to actress Meg Ryan. The 10-year marriage ended in 2001.

And before that, Quaid was married to actress P.J. Soles from 1978 until 1983.

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