Ryan Phillippe

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Real Name: Ryan Phillippe
Birthday: Sept. 10, 1974
Place of Birth: New Castle, DE
Education: New Castle Baptist Academy, New Castle, Delaware, 1992


Ryan Phillippe Biography and Filmography:

Ryan Phillippe first received appreciation for his ground breaking role as daytime television’s first openly gay male teenager on the television soap opera "One Life to Live" 1968- ). By the end of the 1990s, he had become one of the biggest stars on the under 30 celebrity list and adored by the gay and lesbian community.. 

The young teen focused movies like “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (1997) and “Cruel Intentions” (1999) gave the handsome, blond actor instant box office integrity, but Ryan quickly jumped into the multi-theater smash hits with burly performances in good movies like “Gosford Park” (2001), “The Way of the Gun” (2000), and “Igby Goes Down” (2002), preserving for himself a wider assortment of opportunity, and a hopeful future. It didn't damage his profile that following the shooting of “Cruel Intentions,” he fell in love with his co-star, Reese Witherspoon, whose status shot up during their joyful marriage.

Born on Sept. 10, 1974 and raised in New Castle, Delaware, as a young teen, he played soccer and earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, but his school did not have a theater department so he never thought about acting. Around the age of 14 he became captivated with the film “Cool Hand Luke” (1967) and later anything of Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, and similarly complicated tough guys. Phillippe decided he wanted to try acting, reading any books he could find on the subject. A casting agent discovered the attractive young teen while getting his haircut at a barbershop. He began traveling to New York regularly for auditions, and ultimately began to land modeling work. At the age of 17, the high school graduate moved to the city and took small jobs in restaurants and grocery stores to pay the bills, while he built up an acting resume.

In 1992, he hit it big when he was offered a gay role on “One Life to Live.” He boldly accepted the pre Ellen, pre “Melrose Place” landmark gay role; lighting a fire under his career. The energetic soap shooting schedule was a great education for the new actor, and the amount of fan mail he received from distraught young gay teens who related with his character was a massive encouragement. The soap opera wrote out the character in less than a year, and an out of work Ryan Phillippe took the occasion to relocate to Hollywood and try his luck there.

In Los Angeles, a poor Ryan lived in a garage and could not afford a car, so he skateboarded or took the bus to auditions. After one audition, he was given a ride home by fellow burdened actor Breckin Myer, who introduced him to his roommate Seth Green. The three became best friends, spending nights skateboarding and getting into trouble on the streets as the rest of the Hollywood nightlife was still way out of reach. But before long, all three were making career moves, with him landing guest and supporting roles on primetime television and eventually starring in a television pilot "Time Well Spent" (1995) and the Fox movie "Deadly Invasion: The Killer Bee Nightmare” (1995).

The actor made his screen introduction as an extra in "Crimson Tide" (1995) working next to veteran actors such as Denzel Washington, Gene Hackman and James Gandolfini - but his bigger role as a timid student onboard a floating prep school in "White Squall" (1996) began to earn him critical acceptance. 

Ryan was hired for the lead role as a young man looking for peace in a dreadfully messed up family in the inspiring independent film, "Little Boy Blue" (1997) before he suddenly found himself alongside Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze, Jr. in the horror thriller "I Know What You Did Last Summer" (1997). With the release of that colossal hit movie, he was an overnight sexy celebrity sensation, a spot which he was not ready for. The film’s other hot actors began a long run in the gossip pages, but Phillippe, other than buying a truck, continued hanging out with his friends on the outskirts of the rich and famous.

That is, until he met energetic blond actress Reese Witherspoon later that year at her 21st birthday party. After she timidly declared to the handsome actor, “I think you’re my birthday present.” the pair became an instant couple, starting a long distance love affair by phone and e-mail. When he returned to Los Angeles after filming “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” the couple continued dating and were engaged in December, 1998.

Onscreen, the actor turned down jobs to appear in more young teen hits or gay roles; instead choosing to work with Billy Bob Thornton and Kelly Lynch in the little seen pot smoking comedy "Homegrown" (1998), and giving a grand performance as a immature bartender caught up in the joy seeking world of disco, in the ultimately poor "54" (1998). 

The independent films had been important ventures, but he now had a family to look after, after he and Witherspoon married in June of 1999 and had a daughter Ava that same year, he hit a balance of success with "Cruel Intentions" (1999), Roger Kumble's variation of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses." Set among high school students, he played the role of a modern day hero in the fashionable and successful film, with Reese his onscreen romantic interest, before finding darker ground in “The Way of the Gun” (2000), a madcap action comedy.

Continuing to test the waters with a totally new audience, he was cast in Robert Altman’s movie "Gosford Park” (2001). The film, which was nominated for a Best Film Oscar, showed that the actor had depth and talent outside of his early work. He won further mention for his role of older brother Oliver Slocumb in the 2002 independent comedy "Igby Goes Down.” In 2005 he gave another powerful performance in the Oscar winning "Crash" (2005) next to Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Esposito, playing a L.A.P.D. patrol officer who is concerned by the bias of his partner (Matt Dillon). 

Ryan’s next film gave him the opportunity to expand as an actor under the direction of Oscar winning director Clint Eastwood in the World War II epic, “Flags of Our Fathers” (2006). Movie critic Richard Roeper pointed out hid role of United States Navy serviceman John “Doc” Bradley as the best role of his acting career.

The actor was suddenly getting offers to work with highly admired directors in a wide variety of romantic and dramatic roles, and he brought his talent again with “Breach” (2007). The film was based on the true story of an FBI operative (Chris Cooper) convicted of spying for the Soviet Union, and was cheered by critics who were concerned the film had been released at the slowest time of the season with little financial support. 

He followed up with a starring role in “Stop-Loss” (2007), the account of a returning Iraq war soldier from “Boys Don’t Cry” director Kimberly Peirce. As a co-worker in the production company Lucid Films with old friends Breckin Myer and Seth Green. The company’s first option was a film variation of Paul Beatty’s novel "White Boy Shuffle". Next for Ryan was the dramatic comedy "Franklyn" (2008), the story of four lost souls in a futuristic London society where there is no separation between Church and State. He then appeared in the drama thriller "The Stanford Prison Experiment" (2009), based on a psychology experiment conducted by Zimbardo in 1971. Finally, he starred with Sean Bean in the dramatic "Last Battle Dreamer" (2009), a love story set in 9th century England against the backdrop of the Viking invasions.


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