Excerpt from the interview "Growing Up Quill," in People Magazine, 7 August 2017 cover date See end note. -------- Everyone watched young Jason Quill grow up on "The Adventures of Jason Quill," the Hanna-Barbera hit cartoon series of the early 10s. Though fictionalized, the story of young Jason, his brilliant father Dr. Byron Quill, his step-brother Amir, his spy-bodyguard Rusty, and his always-feisty corgi Brigand, thrilled children and adults alike. But children become adults, and young Jason arrived in Halcyon City a few years ago to finish up high school. Tragedy struck just months later, when his father and their bodyguard were lost in battle with their arch-nemesis, Dr. Achilles Chin. They saved the White House ... but Jason lost his only remaining parent, and a good friend. Now, a year later, Jason's a member of Halcyon's most interesting super-team, entering his senior year, and looking ahead to a promising future. We caught up with him at his home at the Quill downtown compound, where the air conditioning keeps out the Georgia heat and the blinking lights on every surface hint at technological wonders. The large, futuristic building feels empty, but Jason seems comfortable in the quiet. HOW'S SCHOOL GOING FOR YOU? (Shrugs.) Not bad. It's kind of neat having teachers who aren't computers, and having the most important deadline in the world be that paper that has to be turned in Friday, not a ticking antimatter bomb in Kuala Lumpur. THE STRESS LEVEL MUST BE A LOT LOWER. Maybe. I think we bring our own stress around with us. I know if you ask any kid during finals week if they're stressed, you'd better step back quick. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SUBJECT? (He rolls his eyes.) Everyone always expects that to be science. Some kind of science. Man, that stuff's hard. I mean, I learned a lot of science growing up, but more like cryptozoology and particle physics and , not basic valences and thermodynamics, y'know? I didn't inherit that science thing from Dad. I guess I kind of liked English lit last year. YOUR DAD WAS PRETTY SMART. Smart? He was a genius. He was brilliant. He was the smartest man I've ever met. SMARTER THAN ACHILLES CHIN? (Silence.) Yeah. I think so. After all, we're all still here, aren't we? DID YOU INHERIT HIS GENIUS? (Laughs.) Man, I wish. I mean, I'm no dummy, I can probably get into any school I want, but I'm nowhere near my Dad's level. If I were, I could probably fix -- (He trails off.) FIX? --well, some of the stuff he left behind. A lot of it is self-repairing, but some of the crazy prototype stuff. Yeah, that stuff doesn't work right, it's way out of my league. NOTHING THAT'S GOING TO BLOW UP, I HOPE! No, nothing like that. AT LEAST YOUR'RE ALL SET FOR MONEY. Oh, yeah. I mean, I couldn't spend all the royalties that Dad's patents bring in. I've got an office of business management types all keeping track. Most of it goes to charity--animal shelters, orphanages, micro-loan organizations for the third world, water projects, that sort of thing. But I don't have to worry about the credit card bill at the end of the month, so that's nice. YOU HAVE SOME OF YOUR OWN INCOME, TOO. Yeah. Residuals on the cartoons. Royalties from toys from the cartoons. Whatever. THAT SEEMS TO MAKE YOU UNCOMFORTABLE. Well, it's kind of weird having a cartoon about yourself when you were a kid, you know? People know you from the cartoon, they think it's the real you. THEY CHANGED A LOT FOR THE CARTOONS? Well, the basic adventures kinda more or less are acccurate, but the dialog was all made up. I mean, my Dad get recordings, but they aren't nearly as exciting. And they changed a lot of details. I only had to worry about a woman doing my voice. Amir was really ticked off -- he was Moroccan, y'know, and they made him Persian -- not Iranian, Persian, which is, like, not even Arab, but they wanted to give him this magic carpet thing, right? Crazy. THERE WAS ANOTHER ENTERTAINMENT CONTRACT THAT DIDN'T QUITE COME TO FRUITION. Oh, God. Yeah. So Marvel is negotiating with Hanna-Barbera, right? And they want to do this space adventure thing with me as a grown-up, and there's this mess of paperwork and half the deal's done and stuff is getting signed and everything's mid-negotiation -- when Disney walks into the room, and everything goes to hell and Marvel pulls back and does their own thing, but they still have this character they have the signed-off right to call Jason Quill. And H-B, they threaten to sue, and Dad threatens to sue, and, for all I know, Dr Chin threatens to sue, and they end up renaming the Marvel character Peter Jason Quill, and doing him in the movie as a not a blonde. And that's how I almost got into the Guardians of the Galaxy, but didn't really. ARE YOU SORRY IT WORKED OUT THAT WAY? Not really. I get into enough trouble with people recognizing me from the cartoons of me as a kid. I really, really don't regret they won't make assumptions about me as an adult from a movie. Though the movies were cool. I don't think I'm quite that adventurous. SO YOU AREN'T THE HEROIC TYPE? I am. I guess. I mean, I dunno. I was a real danger junkie when I was younger, but that's easy when you're not aware of the danger, or when you have a genius dad or super-spy bodyguard to get you out of it. But -- y'know, what's a hero? I have abilities, y'know, even if it's not quite what Dad intended me to use them for. And so I have to do something with them, and if Halcyon City is in danger, or my friends -- well, you have to do something if you can. NO MATTER THE COST? (Silence for a moment.) I guess so. ANYTHING YOU MISS FROM THAT ADVENTUROUS LIFE YOU HAD AS A KID? My Dad, mostly. And my dog. And even Rusty, even if he always smelled like cigarettes. ANYTHING YOU DON'T MISS, OR THAT YOU'RE FREE TO PURSUE WHILE LEADING A MORE NORMAL LIFE? Girls, I guess. I mean, girls that I don't have to worry are secretly robots, or lizard women in disguise, or Russian agents. That sort of thing. Not that I have any girlfriend right now, but at least there are some normal girls around. Even some who aren't just looking for my autograph or some publicity. WHAT ABOUT ALYCIA CHIN? (He pauses.) What about her? WELL, SHE'S A GIRL. Yeah, but she's f*ing crazy, you know? I mean, a scientist, the mad kind. I don't think she's as smart as her dad, either, but thank God, because when she says she's going to kill me, kill everyone I love, destroy the city, all that, she's still way too smart for my comfort. HER FATHER WAS THAT WAY, THOUGH, WASN'T HE? Man, I never quite understood what was going on with Dr Chin. Of course, I was 8, but neither did Dad. Sometimes Chin was acting like a secret agent working for the Chinese government, y'know? Other times, he seemed freelance, trying to obtain some artifact or piece of techn for his own purposes. There always seemed to be a plan, though, even if you couldn't tell what it was. With Alycia -- with his daughter, not so much. She just seems cuckoo. YOU KNEW HER BEFORE HER FATHER DIED, THOUGH, DIDN'T YOU? Well, yeah. A few times. Those two, Dad and Dr. Chin, they were that old arch-villain nemesis foil-the-plans sort of relationship. Crazy stuff. Eventually killed them both, I guess. (Silence.) But, yeah, I ran into Alycia a few times back then. She was sometimes tagging along with her Dad. DID YOU FIGHT THEN? Well, yeah, though it was mostly, "Ha! I have a gun held on you! Now I will take you to my father!" We both did that a couple of times. Then something would happen, bodyguards would show up, the base would explode, whatever. THERE HAVE BEEN RUMORS ABOUT SOME TIME YOU SPENT WITH HER IN ANTARCTICA. (Silence.) Yeah. Not too long before -- well, yeah, but "in" Antarctica is right. We were trapped in the city of a buried civilization, under the Antarctic ice cap, in some death trap thing. You know, moving walls, spikes, the usual. TOGETHER? Yeah. She was holding a gun on me, then we got lost trying to get back to the others, then the trap. YOU GOT OUT, THOUGH. Obviously. And ended up on a raft on an underground river under the ice. So an ... under- ice river. YOU WORKED TOGETHER THEN? Well, yeah, I guess. To survive. We had to. DID YOU FEEL ANY ATTRACTION? No! Of course not. I mean, she had been holding a gun on me. SO YOU DIDN'T SLEEP TOGETHER? Jesus, no! Well, yeah, but only as in "we're both sleeping on this raft, which is in this endless dark river under the ice, and will probably end with a waterfall to our doom, and it's cold because it's under the ice , so we have to huddle together for warmth, and we fell asleep" sort of thing. Which happens. YOU WERE RESCUED? Yeah, by both our dads, go figure. They built together some sort of sun ray laser lens thing, carved down through the ice to the river following the tracking devices we both had. Then Rusty and that creepy silent bodyguard Chin always had swooped down and rescued us. And then both sides headed back to their jets and flew home. AND NOW SHE WANTS TO KILL YOU. Yeah, she blames her dad's death on mine, so I'm the designated target. DO YOU BLAME HER? No, of course not. I mean, not for Dad dying, or falling through a dimensional rift with my brother, our bodyguard, and my dog. I blame her father for that, and he paid for it by falling through, too. I do blame her for all the harm she's done since then. IS THERE SOMETHING YOU'D LIKE TO SAY TO HER? Nothing I haven't already said. YOU'VE TENDED TO SHUN PUBLICITY OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS. Well, since Dad and Rusty -- well, there hasn't been all that much to talk about. I've gone to a couple of conventions, from the cartoon, but -- (He shrugs.) WHY SPEAK OUT NOW? My business manager said it was a good idea. (Laughs.) I'm sure when I read all this in print I'll be really embarrassed, but she said there had been enough rumors floating around around the tabloids, and I needed to protect the Quill "brand." Whatever that is. SO NO TRUTH TO THAT WILD WEEKEND WITH THE "SIX FOR SCIENCE" IN ZURICH? Those a*holes? (Shrugs.) I haven't been to Zurich since 2010. Didn't see much of the town then, either -- we were too busy dealing with some phantom Nazi general who was trying to recover these gold bars -- (Trails off.) Maybe I should travel more. See the world the way other people get to see it. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU GROW UP? (He is silent for a while.) Well, assuming I survive long enough to graduate -- I dunno. I mean, I don't have to work. I'm never going to be half the scientist my dad was, so why even try. I thought about starting a band, but there was that cartoon movie where "I" did that, and I can't stand the thought of that coming back to haunt me. I dunno. If I survive, maybe just keep doing this hero thing. Or study Shakespeare. He's pretty cool. We'll pick up on more of Jason Quill next week, as he dishes dirt on his team mates, discusses his amazing "powers," goes over his exercise and diet regimen, talks about the Quill legacy, details his strained relations with his step-brother, and, just maybe, tells us about the new girl in his life. ------ Note: Minor edits in the above due to discussion below.