Ryan Phillippe on his kids & show business: ‘I’d like to see them do something important’

Ryan Phillippe may date young women who stay the same age, but from everything we’ve seen of him he’s a decent hands-on dad. He’s also a protective one, often shielding his kids from the paparazzi and working to limit their exposure in the media. It turns out that there’s a very good reason for that. In a new interview with E! Online, Ryan talks about regrets in his own career and mentions that he “may have gone a different way” in his life if he’d “had access to education.” He says he doesn’t want his children to go into show business and prefers that they “do something a little more meaningful or important.” Hurray! Ryan has three children: daughter Ava, 13, and son Deacon, 9, with ex wife Reese Witherspoon and daughter Kailani, almost 2, with ex girlfriend Alexis Knapp. Here’s what he told E! news:

Ryan Phillippe isn’t necessarily against his kids… going into show business like him and their mom, Reese Witherspoon, but he’s definitely no stage dad.

“I think there’s good and bad people in each and every occupation,” says the Damages actor. “If they’re tough enough to handle all that would go along with it, then you know.

“And I’ve often said and I don’t mean to dismiss or demean our industry but I’d like to see them do something a little more meaningful or important,” he continued. “If I had the education and what they have offered to them as kids, I may have gone a different way.”

I caught up with Phillippe last night at the Maui Film Festival for an exclusive interview before the screening of Isolated, a documentary he produced and narrates about about a group of surfers who traveled to the most remote parts of Indonesia to ride waves that had never been ridden before.

“What happened over the course of the shooting of the documentary was they sort of learned about this genocide happening in West Papua related to some of the actions that military in the area has taken against some of the natives,” Phillippe said. “It weighed so heavily upon the surfers…that the film sort of shifts. It starts off as this surf documentary and becomes sort of a human rights piece.”

He added, “Ultimately, the endgame would be to get some sort of attention from the U.S. government. We’ve got a petition in place that will hopefully make its way to the White House.”

Phillippe and Witherspoon have also made sure their children are aware that such atrocities exist in the world, that not everyone lives like they do. “That’s been a core element of our parenting both Reese and I with the kids, keeping them aware,” Phillippe said. “Neither of us grew up particularly privileged. Our kids are now, so it’s important to keep them mindful and I’ve got to say we’ve done that job.”

Isolated is one of the few films that Phillippe has been involved with that Ava and Deacon are allowed to watch. The proud father in him beamed, “My son who’s 9 years old watched it twice and was really moved by it and wants to do something.”

Next up for Mr. Phillippe? He’s hoping to hit the film festival circuit with his directional debut Shreveport, a psychological thriller that he also cowrote and stars in.

[From E! Online]

A surfer documentary might actually be good. I’ve seen the surf documentary Step Into Liquid several times and it’s mind-boggling the risks these surfers go through to catch the ultimate wave. Here’s a link to the trailer for Isolated. It looks interesting and Ryan narrates. He also has a new thriller that he directs and co-stars in, as E! mentioned.

As for Ryan hoping for better things for his kids, it sounds like he’s disillusioned with Hollywood and maybe with the state of his career, which hasn’t really been on fire lately. I don’t think he was a child actor, though. He starred on “One Life to Life” as the first gay teenager in a soap opera in 1992, when he was already 18. It sounds like he’s wondering how his life would be different if he’d went to college instead. He probably wouldn’t have been as rich and privileged, that’s for sure.

You can see interviews with Ryan on E! Online. He looks tired!

Ryan is shown in Hawaii with his girlfriend, model Paulina Slagter, 21, on 6-12-13. They’ve been together over a year now. Credit: T.M., PacificCoastNews.com. He’s also shown at a screening of Isolated at Equinox sports club in LA on 4-18-13. Credit: TRY/CW WENN.com

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23 Responses to “Ryan Phillippe on his kids & show business: ‘I’d like to see them do something important’”

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  1. MollyB says:

    He seems like a good candidate for a cop role on a cable drama, I don’t mean that disrespectfully, either. Some higher-level TV drama seems like a good fit for him.

  2. ADD says:

    I thought he was dating ashley greene? Wasn’t he rumoured to be at her place when the fire broke out?

    • Liv says:

      They met at a restaurant hours before the fire broke out, but I think they
      1. had a business meeting or
      2. wanted to play the paps.
      He’s still with his girlfriend and she’s rumoured to have a boyfriend who was also there in that night.

  3. renee says:

    I am surprised by his viewpoint here but respect him more because of it. I felt the same way when Nick Cannon expressed similar wishes for his own kids.

  4. mkyarwood says:

    Most parents share this sentiment, if they’re halfway decent at their job. “I want my kids to do more for themselves/with their lives”.

  5. Faye says:

    I agree with what he said, but I wonder how much he means it. I mean, he’s got plenty of money and he could always go to school and do something “meaningful” now — people decades older than him go to college!

    • Dhavynia says:

      He may have plenty of money to have some sort Hollywood lifestyle but his ex wife is the one making those horrible $20mil per picture and the kids live with her and judging in how she carries and thinks of herself he might be a little dissapointed on how grounded the kids might turn out

      • Me Three says:

        Sadly, have to disagree with you. If those kids are grounded or have half a chance in life, it will be because of their mother, not their father.

        This is a case of a PR team doing a good job and earning their pay. This guy is a douche. He has always been a douche. He will always be a douche. He “dates” girls young enough to be his daughter and he doesn’t seem to know what a condom is as his last “girl” had another kid he could wish for more for.

        He has a product he is selling (the surfing video) and look at the visibility he’s getting from sites like this. And his good parent schtick worked, at least here! We are all thinking or saying “awe, what a good dad. He’s not as bad as I thought.”.

        To me, this is evidence of the guy doing exactly what he’s being praised for not doing–he’s using his kids, yes in a round-a-bout way, but still using them, to promote his documentary.

        As I said, their Mom may be less than perfect, but if those kids have a chance in life, it won’t be because of their father!

      • NP says:

        @Me Three says: You know nothing about Phillippe, his successes in life outside of Hollywood and the “shared” custody of Ava and Deacon. Yes, the “shared” custody. And if you call him a douche because you think it was all him in the marriage failure, you really need to get a life, stop believing the gossip sites and rag mags and get the facts! My soon to be husband is 15 years older than me and has a daughter was is 11 years younger than myself. She is completely happy and accepting of our relationship along with his son. I am in this horrendous, backstabbing business and my husband is not. That is why it works. That’s why Phillippe and Slagter work. I would not want my children in this business either. Look at the attacks, the lies, that these type of sites, commentors, rag mags print! It’s gets real old, really quick!

  6. I.want.shoes says:

    I know that the general opinion of him is that he is a douchebag, but damn, I would still hit it.

  7. aims says:

    I have always thought Ryan was a decent father. maybe a douche with women, but a good dad.

  8. Sarah Kate says:

    Finally a celebrity that laments not going to college and makes education a priority with his children. I often think of this. What if Lindsay Lohan had an education? Something to ponder.

  9. Lemon says:

    He seems like a good father at least to his older kids. I wonder if he sees his other baby. And I agree he is still hot.

    • Me Three says:

      Wow! My “hit” button must be off. He makes me want to shower. He reminds me of someone trying really hard to look tough. He’s got all the tattoos and does the hats and works out with a trainer to get definition in all the right places. But he’s a fake.

      And his PR team should really get a raise based on the awesome response he’s getting just from our crowd, to this PR piece.

  10. ctkat1 says:

    I respect this so much more than the Will Smith “my kids will be superstars, regardless of what they might want because I want an acting dynasty” model.

    The kids might still grow up and want to be actors, and that might be their choice as adults. But as a parent, you give them all of the opportunities and options that you can and make sure they have a sense of the larger world and the possibilities out there.

    Ryan is a douche and Reese is not my favorite, but I can really respect the way that they seem to co-parent their two kids.

    • lucy2 says:

      Yes – they should have the chance to find their own way, not be pressured into a career their parents have chosen.
      Plus showbiz can be really rough, and not everyone is cut out to handle the pressures and fame, if you get it.

    • Me Three says:

      I agree, it does seem like Will Smith is pushing his kids into show biz, but we don’t know what goes on in their lives.

      I’m sorry, but as far as respect goes, I have a whole lot more for Will than for this douche. This guy “dates” girls young enough to be his daughter. Since his divorce from Reese, after cheating on her multiple times with “girls” he’s gotten at least one of them pregnant. I wonder how many baby mamas this guy actually had.

      As I said above, this piece is the result of some really smart PR people, earning their pay. This guy’s career is in the tank. Hollywood doesn’t like him. He’s using his kids to promote his surf film. He’s no better than Will Smith if you’re judging Will on using his kids.

      This guy does not deserve the “awe, he may be a douche, but he’s a good dad” line he’s already getting in the comments here.

      • Jenny says:

        @ Me Three, you keep commenting on every single thread, but you don’t seem to have much to say. I honestly don’t care how old his girlfriends are and they are certainly not near his kids’ age if you are trying to make this into some sort of pedophile thing. If that is the only thing to hold against him, I still think Reese is a bigger d-bag for enabling her husband to drive drunk and being an irresponsible and belligerent drunk to a cop doing his job. That is not an example for kids and will not help to keep them “grounded.”

  11. Dawn says:

    I like Ryan, always have. I can see where he is coming from here as we all want our children to do better than we have done. I remember long ago Reese talking about what a great father he is and how she felt lucky that he was so hands on with their kids. So yeah, good for him!

  12. mwow says:

    Wait – didn’t Reese attend a fancy private school in Nashville? I always thought she grew up pretty privileged. Not Hollywood movie star privileged, but still.

    • Amiblue says:

      Yes, Reese went to Harpeth Hall. She wasn’t struggling financially growing up.

    • TG says:

      Yes she grew up rich so he is clearly out of touch with reality. Reese is an entitled brat which there is plenty of proof in those arrest videos so I doubt she is raising her kids to be any different. He does give a convincing interview though and he sounds a bit humble by his experience.