Ryan Phillipe says that he likes to spend time away from his wife of seven years, Reese Witherspoon, because she nags the shit out of him, but that he loves and misses his children dearly. At least that’s what I read between the lines of his recent interview:
Flags of Our Fathers star Ryan Phillippe hasn’t worked with wife Reese Witherspoon since 1999’s Cruel Intentions (they met on set), but, he says, it’s better that way.
“Sometimes I think it’s a little cleaner to, at least at this stage in our lives, keep that stuff separate,” he tells Interview magazine in its new issue. “I’d never write anything off completely, but I just feel like there’s something to be said for the individuality and mystery of doing things on your own.”
Phillippe, 32, says he’ll never get used to working away from Witherspoon and their kids Ava, 7, and Deacon, 3. “That’s a difficulty that I don’t know if I will ever totally come to terms with. But I think I commit sometimes even further to a role because it leaves me less time to think about those things that make me feel sad, like not being around my children.”
Immersing himself in his role, he says, serves as “a shield or a protective blanket that keeps me from having to deal with the reality. If I can’t see my kids, and I’m in another time zone, I really have to live and eat and breathe the work around the clock, because that keeps me sane.”
Asked if he distances himself from Witherspoon when they talk on the phone, he says, “At times, yes. But because she does the same work, she completely understands.”
The couple makes sure that if one parent is making a movie, the other will remain at home with the kids. “That’s one of the ways we keep the balance,” Phillippe says.
But, he admits, “There are obstacles in every family. … It’s never going to be perfect – you just try to do the best you can and to create a life that is positive and full for them.”
Of course he’s being quite reserved and is probably following Reese’s lead of revealing just enough information that it’s interesting, but not particularly telling. That seems to be the best way to conduct yourself when you’re a celebrity. Reese must have laid into him after he admitted to Rolling Stone that his life’s dream is to smoke pot and lay on the beach all day. That’s a far cry from the loving, thoughtful father he comes off as here. Those Rolling Stone journalists must make celebrities feel like they want to party.
Reese and Ryan were said to be having trouble at the premiere of Flags of our Fathers, because a paparrazo overheard them arguing and they looked kind of pissed off at each other in photos taken at the time.