Ryan Phillippe: ‘I’ve made 30-plus films over 20 years; 5 of them are good’

Ryan Phillippe

Ryan Phillippe is promoting his directorial debut, Catch Hell. Ryan co-wrote the script with a friend (Joe Gossett) and stars in the main role. Ryan says he “kind of plays himself,” which is to say he plays an actor whose career has hit a lull. Not-Ryan is a character who gets chased by the paparazzi but can’t land a movie. I don’t know how close this is to the truth. Ryan hardly ever gets papped these days. He may simply be good at evading the cameras.

Ryan certainly feels like his acting career isn’t the greatest. He spoke with the LA Times about how he dislikes all of his films — except for five of them, which he does not name. Mystery! Cruel Intentions has to be one of the good ones. The movie was pure cheese but a guilty pleasure for many. I hope Ryan’s not dissing that movie, especially since he met the mother of his children during filming. I bet Ryan considers Flags of Our Fathers to be one of his good movies since Clint Eastwood directed it. He probably also liked Gosford Park; Crash was emotionally manipulative, but it won Best Picture, right? So he’s gonna be proud of that one. Maybe Lincoln Lawyer?

The turning point in Ryan’s career — 2011: “I did this terrible movie with 50 Cent [the heist flick, Setup]. It was just a situation I didn’t want to be in. I was sold a bill of goods and it turned out to be something different, which is often the case in this business.”

Where he is now: “It’s certainly not a lament of mine that I’ve fallen out of favor in Hollywood. I’ve made 30-plus films over 20 years. And in my opinion, five of them are good. So you slave away and you work hard and you want to make something great, and a lot of times you end up disappointed. There are a lot of elements that are beyond your control when you’re an actor for hire. So this is kind of the beginning of my wanting to take a little more control and be a little more involved.”

He’s tiring of acting: “Acting alone doesn’t sustain me the same way it used to. Which I think is completely OK if you’ve done something for 20 years. Trying something else becomes really appealing.”

His first time directing: “I love it bleeding together and being a question of how much is directly related to me or isn’t. I’m proud of this movie. I came in on time and under budget. I got it done, and it is what it is. It’s not giant. But I can’t wait to do the next one — especially since I won’t be required to be on-camera the whole time.”

[From LA Times]

I don’t know how to feel about this newfound trend of actors trashing their films. It bugs. Why must they appear so ungrateful for roles that struggling actors would love to play?

Ryan recently spoke about his co-parenting efforts with ex-wife Reese Witherspoon. They’ve led a relatively drama-free divorce. American citizen Reese has had far more drama on her own. Anyway, Ryan said he and Reese went on a family walk through Central Park and talked about how they shot Cruel Intentions there. Ava and Deacon “were tripping out on the fact that we were there shooting a movie before they were even a thought in our minds.” I doubt Reese and Ryan went into great detail about this movie, right? The kids will see it on their own someday. And they will be sooo embarrassed to see their parents get it on.

Ryan Phillippe

Photos courtesy of WENN

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71 Responses to “Ryan Phillippe: ‘I’ve made 30-plus films over 20 years; 5 of them are good’”

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  1. QQ says:

    ….and Knowing you suck is half The Battle…i suppose

  2. Birdie says:

    He had great pontential, but he was in really bad movies. Maybe he should change his management? I loved Studio 54 btw.

  3. Hello Catty says:

    Lol. At least he’s a realist. Kudos.

  4. lemon says:

    I don’t know why he would say that. He has been in about ten good movies. He should just focus on work instead of constantly partying and maybe someone would hire him to be in a movie with a big budget.

  5. CM says:

    Caught Lincoln Lawyer the other day and Ryan P was GOD AWFUL in it! A better actor might’ve made that role into something standout – I’m thinking Ed Norton in Primal Fear – but, alas, he’s NOT a better actor. Pretty boy looks are fading too. Sounds like he might be coming to terms with his limitations and branching out. Good for him.

    • Hotpockets says:

      I thought Ryan was perfect for his role in Lincoln Lawyer, he was playing a spoiled, rich, entitled, borderline sociopath, which he sort of comes across as being anyways, pretty much the same character he played in Cruel Intentions. I loved Lincoln Lawyer.

    • nikko says:

      I thought he was good in that movie too. I think it had alot to do with timing. Most of the actors around his age aren’t the A type. He was great in Cruel Intentions! I love that movie.

  6. Artimis says:

    I would consider Stop Loss his best film but then again hes not someone whose films I would seek out. He always seemed kind of douchey to me.

  7. Leftovers says:

    Franklyn. All the way.

  8. Anthea says:

    The Way of the Gun is an excellent film but mainly because of Benicio del Toro, Juliet Lewis and James Caan.

    • Wilma says:

      It should be one of those 5 he’s thinking about, it’s really good.

    • Betty says:

      Yes, Way of the Gun is my favorite Ryan movie, but it’s mostly because I used to love Benicio. Also, I’m pretty sure Ryan and Reese met before Cruel Intentions began filming. Reese has repeatedly told a story about meeting Ryan at her birthday party and asking if Ryan was her birthday present. I think they were already an item when Cruel Intentions started shooting.

    • Chris says:

      The opening scene in the car park is a classic.

  9. Neelyo says:

    I appreciate his honesty but I think he’s being too generous.

  10. Luca76 says:

    Stop Loss is an awesome film. He’s actually a really good actor his problem is his douchey baby face.

  11. Rhiley says:

    I like the movie Breach which is the one where he got together with Abby Cornish for a bit. I mainly like because of Chris Cooper, though. He is kind of fascinating on screen. Gosford Park is a great movie but not so much because of Ryan. It’s because of the soundtrack and the Julian Fellowesness of it.

    Ryan shouldn’t beat himself up too bad though because Reese has made some really bad film choices and even though she is A list, she probably has less than 5 good films.

    • Luca76 says:

      Breach is a great film.

    • Betty says:

      Really, I can think of six Reese films off the top of my head I think are pretty decent: Freeway, Man in the Moon, Election, Pleasantville, Legally Blonde and Walk the Line.

    • Dawn says:

      I liked Breach as well. It was a good movie and he was good in it.

    • littlestar says:

      Reading everyone’s comments, it sounds like his only good movies are good because of the rest of the actors in them! I cannot think of a single movie I’ve seen of his, besides Cruel Intentions…

      His comments doesn’t necessarily sound ungrateful to me. I think it sounds like he’s finally coming to terms with the fact that he didn’t become the great superstar/Oscar nominated actor he had hoped to become, and has realized his limitations as an actor. I dunno *shrugs*.

      • Ash says:

        Yeah. I didn’t get ungratefulness from his comments as much as I felt like he was speaking from a place of self-awareness.

        At least, he can acknowledge he’s not Oscar bait or even A-List.

  12. CandyKay says:

    I like Ryan. ‘Cruel Intentions’ is excellent, but I think his best film is ‘Igby Goes Down’ with Kieran Culkin and Susan Sarandon. You should definitely add it to your Netflix queue if you haven’t seen it yet. Jeff Goldblum’s role is priceless.

    Ryan basically plays one role well, which is the nefarious, close-mouthed, upper-class jerk. But that’s OK in my world. A lot of actors don’t play *any* roles well. And a lot of the greats basically played one role over and over – Bogie, Joan Crawford, Errol Flynn, John Wayne.

    You would think that with all the talk about income inequality and ‘the 1%’ these days, there would be plenty of villainous rich guy roles for Ryan.

  13. Jess says:

    He’s more known now for being a womanizer in my opinion, doesn’t he have another child with a one night stand or something?

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      The chick off of Pitch Perfect. Alexis Knapp aka Boobs. I think they had a short relationship when she was 19 or 20 (wiki says they got together the Summer of 2010, broke up in September 2010)….she found out she was pregnant after they broke up. And then she started calling the paps every time he went with her to her doctor’s appointments for the baby–I remember because he always had a pissy look on his face. But he went with her–and was at the birth. I think the consensus was that she wanted him back–but who knows? But he seems to be a good father–and he is rarely pap’d…with or without his kids.

  14. Loopy says:

    Him and Josh Hartnett really blew it,in the late nineties they really were the heart throbs for tweens and teens,but i guess its hard to grow from that. Channing Tatum seems to have found the formula though.

  15. OriginalTessa says:

    I think he’s made more than 5 good films. I think he’s too hard on himself. He hasn’t done anything lately, but he’s been in some decent projects over the years.

    I mean, even I Know What You Did Last Summer deserves some credit. It’s entertaining as heck and a very decent teen horror flick. Not every movie has to be Oscar worthy to be good.

  16. Talie says:

    Cruel Intentions and Igby Goes Down are my favorites… also liked Flags of our Fathers. But he does excel at playing snobby characters very well, interestingly enough.

    Cruel Intentions has held up remarkably well over the years.

  17. Jayna says:

    I think he’s really talented. I really liked him in Flags of Our Fathers.

  18. neer says:

    No Ryan, you are a great actor. Even if some films of any actor sucks, one’s performance also matters. Just like for example, your earlier film PLAYING BY HEART (with Angelina Jolie, Sean Connery etc). That was a great film. Love it so much!!!!

  19. Esmom says:

    I know how I feel about actors trashing their films: it’s not cool. It reminds me of my former co-workers constantly trashing the projects we did (we were a creative team at an ad agency) — if you hate it so much and are so above such drivel, go find something else to do. And just like in my industry, there will be dozens (if not way more in HW) eager to take their place, and some likely more talented and potentially more grateful.

    He doesn’t even take ownership of his own performances in the films he’s trashing. He basically said it was always other factors that resulted in a bad end product. Maybe that’s true…but how hard is it to say “I may not have been happy with a project but I learned something from it and was grateful for the opportunity.” Not to mention the paycheck. How about a little gratitude?

    Sorry, rant over. :)

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      Yeah. I mean–he doesn’t even really sound whiny to me, or seem like he’s just talking trash and is being arrogant–I do think that’s how he feels…..but at the same time. Dude. Shut your face. Some actors never get a 20 year career. Be glad that you get the perks (tons of $$$), and none of the cons (paparazzi stalking you 24/7).

  20. FingerBinger says:

    Ryan did a movie called Five Fingers with Laurence Fishburne and he was really good in it. He over acted in it ,but I Still Know What you Did Last Summer is ok. Another thing ,doing a movie with 50 Cent is the kiss of death. They’re all straight to video or cable movies.

    • manta says:

      I really loved Five fingers but can’t help finding Fisburne an Torres superior to Phillippe.
      I’ve not seem may of his pictures but that seems to be his problem, he starred in some very good films but they are not so thanks to him.
      He’s almost always outshone by his costars (last example I can think of: The Lincoln Lawyer)

    • sms says:

      there nothing wrong with straight to dvd or cable movies there’s lot straight to cable movies that are icon movies that’s how it was during 80 and 90′s

      • FingerBinger says:

        There’s nothing wrong with straight to video or cable ,but they should be good. 50 Cent movies just aren’t good.

  21. Gwen says:

    I think he has a point but he could have put if differently. All actors end up in movies that suck at some point and you have to wonder why these movies get made? Surely the people making them would prefer making good movies?

    • the.princess.leia says:

      I can’t speak to actors but some terrible movies get made just so they’ll flop and studios and production companies can write it off. Look up inxs and Crocodile Dundee. The band invested for a write off and ended up having to pay more because it was such a commercial hit.

  22. penelope says:

    I’ve always liked Ryan–though I’ve always found him to be a somewhat limited actor, he’s one of the few in that cesspool of dysfunction called Hollywood who has always told it like it is. Good luck to him.

  23. Marianne says:

    I hate when actors make comments like this as well. They always sound so ungrateful. Unless you truly had a crappy experience because the director was a sexist jerk *cough Michael Bay* or it was hard on you emotionally (like maybe filming something 9/11 related) but otherwise shut up. It’s really disrespectful to the fans who did like those movies. I get that maybe you’re not working much anymore and you feel like you have to lay blame somewhere but I dont think this should be the way to do it.

  24. MarcelDeux says:

    “American citizen Reese”, ha! Good one. I love Cruel Intentions. I guilty pleasure watched it this past Friday night.

  25. ToodySezHey says:

    Harsh assessment.but props for keeping it real.

    Also, I quite liked The I Inside

  26. Tdub30 says:

    I feel as though entertainers are too harshly criticized for being human. He’s simply giving *his* assessment of his career, which he doesn’t think is stellar. There’s nothing wrong with that. How often do *we* say our jobs suck or are awful. I don’t feel this is any different. If he’d have named names, then I would call him ungrateful, but he clearly didn’t do that. Just my take though…

    • I Choose Me says:

      My take as well.

    • Kitten says:

      Yeah I agree. If he had named names I’d call him a douche but he didn’t. Also, he’s probably pretty spot-on about how the industry works. I think it happens pretty frequently that projects are misrepresented to actors or they start off a certain way but once they go through the creative channels, they come out a steaming pile of sh*t. Too many chefs in the kitchen when it comes to movie-making.

    • janefr says:

      And mine. I’m pretty sure the right to say that one’s job sucks, or that one did that job for the money only is in the Constitution. Somewhere.

    • Esmom says:

      Of course everyone’s entitled to complain but to do so publicly just doesn’t seem prudent or professional. I know I wouldn’t complain about my job/career if I knew my employer or a potential employer might be listening.

    • Josefa says:

      I read it the same way. No one is told to be grateful about their jobs when they complain about how awful their bosses are. I guess Ryan is just grumpy because his star faded long ago, he’s losing his moneymaker (pretty boy looks), and now he looks back at the career he had and noticed he doesn’t like it.

    • Someonestolemyname says:

      I find what he is saying about himself refreshing.
      He’s showing a lack of big ego, he’s being humble.
      Maybe hes doing some Soul searching, thats good for him.

      I Wonder if Matthew McConaughey went through similar thoughts before his big career resurgeance?

    • Ash says:

      I agree. Naming names would have been stupid, but he didn’t do that.

      He’s not doing anything that the rest of us aren’t already guilty of doing on occasion: complaining about work.

  27. TheCountess says:

    He might not consider it “his” film, but “Crimson Tide” was a pretty good ride. “Breach” also wasn’t too bad, though it was more of a showcase for Chris Cooper.

  28. kw says:

    I think it’s more specific. It’s FILM actors trashing their roles, which I think is kind of legit. Movies suck these days, all the good stuff is being done on tv.

    • Someonestolemyname says:

      Yup, hes just being honest with himself.
      Hes actually showing hes humble , IMO. He realizes he can do better or more with himself.

  29. DarkSparkle says:

    Awww. Maybe I’m weird, but I think it’s really cute that their kids can grow up and watch a movie about, essentially, their parents falling in love as teenagers.

    That sex scene may creep them out a bit, but as a child of divorced parents, I’ve always loved watching my parents wedding video, just to see how they interacted with each other, how they laughed and danced, and how they looked at each other with big glowy love-filled eyeballs. A little glimpse on the way things were, before everything turned into the way things are.

    I know that’s not the same thing, because Ryan and Reese were playing characters, but it’s still close, and they had great chemistry on screen, you could tell they were twitterpated.

  30. St says:

    I had a crash on him for years. After Cruel Intentions. There is something about him. Always hoped he would have good career. Was always happy when he was in good movies.

    I really don’t understand why he is not doing anything lately. He has face, he has a little talent, he has name recognition – her can get movie role. I don’t believe that he doesn’t receive any offers or offers to audition. He should have take any roles and hope for better movies to come. But I feel like was not taking small roles and hoped that big one will come. He was not fighting for his career. Also – he has more then 5 good movies:

    White Squall
    I Know What You Did Last Summer
    Cruel Intentions
    Gosford Park
    Flags of Our Fathers
    The Lincoln Lawyer

  31. melain says:

    Maybe this is his mid-life crisis talking.

  32. Someonestolemyname says:

    Yes, Hes doing some re evaluating at this point. I think it’s smart that he is,
    I think he was friends with Matthew Mc.for awhile , (Mainly just during film) but Ill bet after seeing how Matthew MC had a big turaround in his career, he’s probably thinking perhaps it’s time to find more Quality in his own work.

    Ryan P. Is a really good Actor and some of his roles have shown that as several people have mentioned above.
    I Wonder about Ryan P. Management or Agents? Maybe he needs to find new handler’s.
    He certainly can still make things happen for himself, with hard work and perhaps Even Quality roles in Independent films.

    Maybe he should try to Get in the Harvey Wienstien orbit of projects, Even if it’s a small Role in one of his films, it certainly helps.

  33. LAK says:

    He has been in a lot of dross, but he has kept working. It is what it is.

    Also pretty sure they were already together by the time they came to filming CRUEL INTENTIONS. There is a scene -funnily one where their characters are making out, where you can see the top swell of her pregnant belly.

  34. allheavens says:

    He simply evaluating his career, I don’t know why people think that actors should never complain or tell the truth about their careers. We do it ALL the damn time.

    However, I think he is being a little hard on himself. Yes, he has limitations as an actor but he is a good actor and he has done some good films:

    Little Boy Blue
    The Way of the Gun
    Cruel Intentions
    Playing by Heart
    Flags or Our Fathers
    White Squall
    Igby Goes Down
    The Lincoln Lawyer

    • Ash says:

      I don’t understand why what he said is that big a deal given that us regular folk complain about work and everything. He’s human.

      As an actor, Ryan isn’t the greatest, but he’s been in some decent movies. I wonder if his representation is part of why he hasn’t done better. Not just his acting skills.