Matthew Ryan Phillippe (Template:IPAc-en; born September 10, 1974), better known as Ryan Phillippe, is an American actor. After appearing on the soap opera One Life to Live, he came to fame in the late 1990s starring in a string of films, including I Know What You Did Last Summer, Cruel Intentions, and 54. In the 2000s, he appeared in several films, including 2001's Academy Award Best Picture nominee Gosford Park, 2005's Academy Award-winning ensemble film Crash, and the 2006 war drama Flags of Our Fathers. In 2007 he starred in Breach, a movie based on the true story of FBI operative Eric O'Neill, while in 2008 he headlined Kimberly Peirce's Iraq war film Stop-Loss. In 2010, he starred as Pulitzer-Prize winning photographer Greg Marinovich in The Bang-Bang Club.
Early career (1992–1999)Edit
Phillippe's acting career began with an appearance in ABC daytime drama One Life to Live. His character Billy Douglas, whom he played from 1992 to 1993, was the first gay teenager on a daytime soap opera. After leaving the show, Phillippe moved to Los Angeles, where he appeared in a number of small parts in various television series including Matlock, the TV mini-series The Secrets of Lake Success, and movies, including the 1995 film Crimson Tide and the 1996 film White Squall.
He was cast in the 1997 horror film, I Know What You Did Last Summer, which co-starred Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt. The film was a success, and led to Phillippe gaining wider renown and being cast in a few more high-profile films, including 54 in 1998. In 1999 he starred in Cruel Intentions, a modern retelling of the Choderlos de Laclos novel, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, which also starred Phillippe's future wife, Reese Witherspoon, as well as his I Know What You Did Last Summer co-star, Sarah Michelle Gellar. It was a success among its intended teenage audience, cementing Phillippe's ability to play characters that require sex appeal.
Critical success and later work (2000–2009)Edit
In the years following, he appeared in the crime drama The Way of the Gun, starred as a famed software engineer in the thriller Antitrust, and co-starred in Robert Altman's Gosford Park, which was nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture. Subsequently, Phillippe had supporting parts in the films Igby Goes Down (2002) and Crash (2005), which won the Oscar for Best Picture. His 2003 film, The I Inside, premiered on cable.
In 2006, Phillippe played real-life Navy corpsman John Bradley in the war film Flags of Our Fathers, following the journey of the United States Marines who lifted the flag at the battle of Iwo Jima. Phillippe has said that the film was the "best experience" of his career because of its "personal meaning" to him, and that he would have "given [his] life" to fight in World War II, noting that both of his grandfathers fought in the war. His performance was positively received by film critic Richard Roeper, who thought it was Phillippe's best performance to date. Phillippe's next role was in the thriller Breach, in which he played FBI investigator Eric O'Neill. He has since commented that he believes Cooper to be "the best actor America has to offer". He then starred in Chaos, in which he plays a police officer, Five Fingers, a drama set in Morocco, Kimberly Peirce's Iraq war film Stop-Loss, and the futuristic Franklyn.
Newfound success and return to television (2010–2011)Edit
Next up for Phillippe was a rare comedic role as Lt. Dixon Piper in the unsuccessful film MacGruber, based on the SNL skit of the same name. It was released in the US and Canada on May 21, 2010. As part of the film's promotion, Phillippe made his Saturday Night Live hosting debut on April 17, 2010, along with first-time musical performer Kesha.
That same year, Phillippe starred in the Canadian/South African production The Bang-Bang Club, which tells the real-life story of the Bang-Bang Club, four South African photographers whose images documented the bloody end of apartheid. Phillippe described the filming process as "really run-and-gun. There were no comforts, and I actually appreciate that". He noted that the experience has impacted him, explaining that "we were shooting during the day in Soweto, and it was an endless procession of funerals—death is so common. Kids there have no quality of life. It has made me want to get more involved in Africa-based charities." An early cut of the film was shown at Cannes Film Festival in May 2009, with the final version shown at Cannes in May 2010. The film officially premiered in September 2010 at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. The US rights to the movie were picked up by Tribeca Film.
In the summer of 2010, Phillippe began filming the adaptation of popular crime novel The Lincoln Lawyer, taking on the role of Louis Roulet, a wealthy Los Angeles playboy accused of a crime for which his culpability is unclear. The movie, which also stars Matthew McConaughey, opened on March 18, 2011, and was generally well received by critics, scoring 82% on Rotten Tomatoes as of late March 2011. Phillippe filmed his next project, heist action movie Set Up. Also starring Bruce Willis, Jenna Dewan, and 50 Cent, the movie focuses on a group of young men from Detroit whose attempt at a diamond heist goes awry and brings them into conflict with a mob boss. The movie had a straight-to-DVD release on September 20, 2011.
Phillippe next filmed the dramatic dark comedy Revenge for Jolly!, in the summer of 2011. The movie, which tells the story of a man set on finding his dog's murderer, premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. Phillippe subsequently began work on another movie, Straight A's, in August 2011. Filmed in Shreveport, Louisiana, the movie will star Phillippe as a man who has been in and out of rehab for years and is now haunted by his mother's ghost, and will also feature Anna Paquin and Luke Wilson.
Starting in November 2011, Phillippe spent several months filming a 10-episode arc on the fifth and final season of the critically acclaimed TV show Damages. Playing Channing McClaren, a Julian Assange-like character, it was his first regular TV role since his breakout part on One Life to Live.
Focus on directing and producing (2012–present)Edit
In 2012, Phillippe focused on his directorial debut, Shreveport, an upcoming indie thriller in which Phillippe will star as a fading film actor who must devise a creative escape after he is kidnapped and tortured while making a movie in Shreveport, Louisiana. In addition to directing, co-producing, and starring in the film, Phillippe also co-wrote the script with Joe Gossett. Phillippe has said that the film is based partly on the life experiences of himself and his friends (including the filming of Straight A's in Shreveport in 2011), but is partly meant to be "a fun scary movie in the vein of Misery". Filming took place on location in Shreveport in the fall of 2012, and the movie is slated for a 2013 release. Phillippe has also been attached to a number of possible future film roles, including Chronicle, a film to be directed by Jay Alaimo that will see Phillippe, Justin Long, and John Hawkes in a story about "about two childhood friends who reunite to launch the biggest marijuana dealership in New York City", and Christopher McQuarrie's The Stanford Prison Experiment, an upcoming film about the infamous 1971 psychology experiment.
Phillippe, Breckin Meyer, Seth Green, and David E. Siegal run a production company called Lucid Films. In 2010, Phillippe and Meyer began "getting a show going for Showtime", serving as executive producers. The comedy, Heavy and Rolling, tells the story of a Manhattan towncar driver who assumes different identities as he moves towards madness. Phillippe also served as executive producer and narrator on Isolated, a documentary that follows five surfers as they travel to remote New Guinea in search of untouched waves. The documentary premiered in January 2013 at the 2013 Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
Personal life Edit
In 1997, Phillippe attended a party given for actress Reese Witherspoon's 21st birthday. Upon meeting Witherspoon, Phillippe was reported to have spent all night talking to her, with Witherspoon telling Phillippe, "I think you're my birthday present." They started dating and became engaged in December 1998. The following year, the pair starred in Cruel Intentions together. Phillippe and Witherspoon married on June 5, 1999, in a small ceremony at Old Wide Awake Plantation near Charleston, South Carolina, when Witherspoon was six months pregnant.
On September 9, 1999, Phillippe and Witherspoon welcomed a daughter named Ava Elizabeth Phillippe, after actress Ava Gardner. Their son, Deacon Reese Phillippe, was born on October 23, 2003 and named after Phillippe's ancestor, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Deacon Phillippe, a baseball player at the turn of the 20th century.
On October 30, 2006, Phillippe and Witherspoon released a statement announcing that they had decided to formally separate. After more than seven years of marriage, Witherspoon filed for divorce from her husband on November 8, 2006, citing irreconcilable differences as the cause. In light of the couple's lack of a prenuptial agreement, she requested that the court refuse to grant spousal support to Phillippe, and asked for joint legal custody and sole physical custody of the pair's two children. Phillippe filed for joint physical custody of the children on May 15, 2007, and did not seek any spousal support. The couple's marriage officially ended on October 5, 2007, with final divorce arrangements settled on June 13, 2008, according to court documents. Phillippe and Witherspoon share joint custody of their children.
Phillippe subsequently dated model/actress Alexis Knapp in the summer of 2010, before splitting in September 2010. After the break-up, Knapp discovered that she was pregnant, and gave birth to a daughter, Kailani Merizalde Phillippe Knapp, on July 1, 2011. Phillippe was present during the birth.
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