Ryan Phillippe does not want children in the business

09/03/2007 at 09:00 AM ET

In a recent interview, actor Ryan Phillippe, 32, talked about how his children, Ava Elizabeth, 8 on September 9, and Deacon Reese, 3 1/2, do not like having celebrities for parents.  Their mother is actress Reese Witherspoon.  Ryan said,

My daughter does not like it at all. She hates that her parents are famous. The paparazzi really scare her. It really freaks kids out to have grown tattooed men with criminal records follow them about. She doesn’t like how kids will come out and befriend her, just because of who her mom or dad is. That’s very hard.

Although Ryan has made his career in the acting business, it appears that he does not wish the same for his children. The actor stated,

People often ask me if I would like them to be in the business, and I have to say no. I would not like people to write things about them like they have written about me. I wouldn’t be happy if they went into the business.

Source: Irish Times

Thanks to CBB reader Joanne-Marie


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kate on

How old are their kids, i think Ava is 7. Do 7 year olds know who Reese and Ryan are? Hardly anyone of the people i know know who Ryan is. I’m sorry, but Ryan and Reese come off as pretentious people.

Lynn on

I think the kids can act if they want to, if that’s where their hearts are set, just work the hard way, sharpen their skills and minimal amount of nepotism!

kate on

Reese and Ryan both live in L.A. There are lots of paparazzi, so if you don’t want to be bothered move away like a lot of other stars did. I mean seriously!

sleevedupmama on

As a heavily tattooed mama, I’m more offended by his tattoo comment – it’s sad that he assumes the old stereotype that tattoos and criminal records go hand in hand. It’s also hypocritical, because he is tattooed himself! http://www.vanishingtattoo.com/tattoo/celeb-phillippe.htm

Also, I have never seen a photo where Ava looks scared – most of the time, she is smiling for the paps!

loldogs on

Wow! Ava Elizabeth looks just like Reese!

stephanie on

Uh, of course they do. Tabloids? The covers when they break up, bump watches, supposed relationships and affairs, grocery shopping, or just going to school? Of course kids at Ava’s school would know that’s her parents. Seven year olds may not know who’s the hot new thing in Hollywood but they do know that her parents are the ones pictured in the magazines. They’re not that stupid.

Even if people don’t know who Ryan is, Reese was Elle Woods, she has her own Barbies and everything!

gabriella on

Kate I agree with you Ryan and resse seem so snotty IMO, always have. Anyway if they hate the business so much, stop making money off it and retire, no big deal for the movie industry lol. I love when john travolta said when people ask him what do you think if your kids become actors and he said their are worse jobs in life than being an actor, it has given my family a great living and to top it off it’s not as hard as plenty of other jobs people do everyday and I got pleasure from it. And if you don’t like paparazzi move out of LA.

tink1217 on

wow, the harsh comments!! I totally agree with Ryan and he has a right to his opinion. I am sure if either of his kids expressed an interest in the business he would support them as best he could, but probably try to discourage it first. I don’t blame him one bit. Especially the way the tabloids are. AND….WHY should he or Reese have to move away from where their career is centered? Just to get away from paparazzi??? Give me a break! I enjoy seeing pics of celebs and their kids, BUT not at the expense of their safety or if the kids are afraid. It must be strange for people to be following you everywhere you go if you are a celeb kid, wondering why. I can see how Ava could be scared of the strange men taking pictures.

I have a tattoo and would like another, but I don’t take offense at the tattoo remark at all. Lighten up people. Ryan was making a remark about the types that become paparazzi. Lots of times the paps ARE rough looking and have criminal records. I’d be scared for my kid too. Not all tattooed people are criminals, no, of course not. I am sure that is not what he was implying. My goodness, he has tattoos, doesn’t he??

I truly feel bad for celeb children sometimes.

Kristen on

Actually, in response to the poster that said Ava always looks happy in pictures- she used to when she was a bit younger, but in the past 2 years or so she’s really changed (I think since that experience at Disneyland where they were chased around by an aggressive photographer on her birthday). She now often tries to cover her face up, or scowls at the paps, and a few videos have shown her running ahead of Ryan or Reese so she can get in the car extra fast to avoid the photographers.

Natasha on

I think he’s just saying (from experience) that being a celebrity is not as easy as just being rich. There is a down side to it 🙂

liliana on

Quotes like this make me wonder. Both Reese and Ryan seem pretty hateful towards the paparazzi even when they don’t have their kids with them, so I think that they channel all that negative energy and the little ones just pick it up from them. For example the Jolie&Pitt don’t seem to be half as bothered by the paparazzi even though they have a lot more people stalking them and their kids don’t seem as hateful towards the photographers as Phillipe kids do. I’m not saying that kids shouldn’t be bothered at all, just that the attitude the parents take towards them, influences the attitude of the kids.

emma on

its to be expected that the kids wont like the paparazzi when their parents both HATE the paparazzi, kids notice that kind of thing. and on many occasions they have (provoked or not) lashed out and lost it in front of the kids at paparazzi. both parents.
if the parents show obvious displeasure at been followed and are irritated the kids will not like it and will get scared. reassurance and been positive would benefit them a lot more. it must suck to be followed, but the parents signed up for the attention, and are able to give their children a nice life and whatever they want. not all parents are so lucky, in the scheme of things, they have it easy. and all celeb parents deal with it. as long as the paparazzi are at a safe distance from them and not in their faces or agressive, i dont think the parents should really complain. the best thing to do is to ignore them, and get on with their day.

and 7 year old kids dont have the capacity of thought to think just cause their parents are famous that kids will be coming up to them to befriend them with ulterior motives, thats something that’s been put in their heads.

angelbaby33 on

Does anyone remember that episode of Friends when Phoebe finds out that Ross’s son goes to school with Sting’s son and she freaks out about it and goes to the son’s school to meet him? I think that a lot of famous parents often have this happen. It might not be the 7 and 8 year old kids themeslves who know Reese or Ryan all that well but the parents certainly do. Can you imagine how many of them are dying to have their kids invited over to Reese Witherspoons house for a playdate? No one has ever seen the inside of her house on any Crib type tv show because she keeps it all private. I’m sure that there are family pics all over the house that we have obviously never seen, etc. Even if they are not coming out and telling their kids to befriend them, I am sure that many of them have said something like “Ava seems like a nice girl, why don’t you invite her over to play or Ava seems sweet, why don’t you see if she wants to play with you on the playground. ” Some people are crazy when it comes to celebs and parents are no exception. As for the heavily tatooed comment, it’s doesn’t sound like the tattoos are the problem but mixed with scary looking men who are jumping out of bushes at them. I recall Reese saying in an interview that many of the paparazzi will curse at her when she is with her children if she does not pose for a picture so I cannot imagine either of the kids enjoying it at all!

Megan on

So tell me why it’s wrong for Ryan not want his kids to go through what he’s gone through–why is it not ok for him to want them NOT to go into acting–that is his right to feel that way and who could blame him…

And also just because Ava may be smiling here and there doesn’t mean she’s not scared…she’s a little girl who just wants to be able to go places with her parents without constantly being watched…

I just find it funny how easy it is for us to criticize these parents by saying “move out of LA” or “don’t take them with the paps” but they are real people and are allowed to live where they want and allowed to go to the grocery store and to the coffee shop…

I think Reese and Ryan are amazing parents and they have two beautiful kids…

Lola on

I agree with Ryan for being protective of his kids and not wanting them to be actors. Alot of actors have easy access to a more… tragic life.

iheartme on

I see both his side as well as that of others. On one hand, the kids should just be able to live their lives, but the fact is, that isn’t the way it’s going to be when you have celebrity parents who choose to live in Hollywood. It just isn’t. It may not be right, but such is life.

I think it would probably be healthier for the parents to try to explain to their kids what is going on and try to just make the best of it for them. If the parents don’t act totally put out and bothered (even though they may feel that way) I think it’s less likely that the children will be scared.

I don’t think that children should be harrassed up close by the paparazzi but the fact is, so long as there as websites like this one and magazines which thrive on candid photos of celebrities and their children, the paprazzi area going to have a job. I think that at least attempting to deal with it in a positive way would be better for the celeb. children. It can’t be pleasant but I think it could possibly be made less painful.

Paulina on

Megan, well said. ITA!

sage on

I never though reese or ryan are snotty IMO. They seem like amazing parents which i can’t say for alot of celebs. I can understand not wanting the kid to be actors cause they obviously have more experience with the negative side of things like people in a post calling them snotty and , Anyway if they hate the business so much, stop making money off it and retire, no big deal for the movie industry lol.

I can see his point

Ada on

I think people are forgetting that Reese and Ryan were very young and faced an unplanned pregnancy (with Ava… although Deacon was not planned either.) I think Reese was only 20 years old or something like that with her first. So I don’t think that they necessarily had plans to raise a family in Hollywood – it just happened that way and they made the most of it.

They are both actors and this is their livlihood. They are doing the best they can to raise their children as normally as possible and they have been through alot of horrible things done by the paparazzi.

I don’t blame Ryan at all for his bitterness towards the paps and tabloids and even the whole Hollywood mentality. Remember that this is the same Hollywood and the same rags that bludgeoned him to death when news of their divorce became public. Adultery, lies, cheating, fighting… all of these things were suddenly associated with him. He obviously does not feel like he owes Hollywood anything, and in truth he does not.

They shouldn’t have to move out of Hollywood or adjust their attitudes about the paps like “Brangelina.”

Hollywood is a fake, cruel, back-stabbing place and they don’t have to like it or even pretend to. Its just where they work. And if they want their children to grow up knowing the truth about it then more power to them.

aidan on

I agree with many comments above (angelbaby33, sleevedupmama).

I also think that celebrities’ attitudes toward the paparazzi shape the paps attitudes toward them. I mean, it’s unfair and it sucks to be followed around everywhere, I’m sure, but it comes with the job description.. and it just seems like those that are more respectful to the paparazzi end up more respected by them, too. Like in NYC when Brad Pitt asked them to use long-range lenses.. I mean, I’m sure many didn’t listen to him but a lot did! I guess I’m just saying that if Ryan and Reese catered to the paps a little bit, maybe posed once instead of running, maybe they wouldnt end up making their lives, and their children’s lives, as terrible as theyre making it sound. Worth a shot at least.

gabriella on

I agree emma. There’s a picture today of reese without the children taking a walk on x17, with a snotty face like always. She really seems like a ray of sunshine, the woman barely ever smiles lol. Seriously though you can’t have it both ways make a ton of money when you feel like it, and than expect no paparazzi pics. If that’s the way you feel retire and become a teacher or something, so your no longer a celebrity.Look at jennifer garner everyday there are pics of her, heidi klum,kate hudson, gwen stefani, even britney and angelina who are always around paparazzi act more decent and seem happier than reese IMO.
Kate hudson herself who grew up a celebrity child said last year the paparazzi will always be around it’s their job, I grew up with it and my son has too, as long as they don’t touch me or my son and stay at a legal distance there’s nothing I could do about it, and it’s not worth ruining my day or my child’s day, brooke shields also bascially said the same thing on leno once.

tink1217 on

wow, you guys are so judgmental. I can’t believe it. I don’t know why my original post wasn’t posted but, oh well. IMO, Ryan is just being protective. Reese and Ryan are entitled to privacy just like any other person. Celeb or not. They should not have to “move away” form LA, where their careers are thriving because paparazzi cannot keep their distance. I can see how the kids might get scared. Especially after that paparazzi incident at Disneyland a year or so ago during Ava’s bday.

As for Reese looking “snotty”…I don’t get that at all. The look I see is a “oh yeah, more cameras, more paparazzi, can’t i have one second to myself”. She can’t walk down her own street without being photographed and I am sure it gets annoying. So, she looks annoyed. BIG DEAL!

And finally, if Ava or Deacon ever wanted to get into the biz, I am sure they would discourage it, but in the end if the kid really wanted to and had talent..they would support them I am sure.

Posh_Fan on

I am sure kids at Ava’s school do want to be her friend cause of her parents. I remember David Beckham once saying that Brooklyn used to come home and say how the “big kids” would want to be his friend and play soccer with him and asked him if they could come to his house and play soccer with him and his dad or how they would give Brooklyn things and ask for a signed ball or something in return from his dad. Brooklyn was like 6 then.

I feel bad for celebrity babies in a way.

lizzielui on

Just because celebs like Kate Hudson and Brooke Shields say that they understand that the papparazzi will always be around and that the pics and the gossip comes with the territory that doesn’t mean that the presence of the paps doesn’t at all become tiring. I have seen pics of Kate Hudson shielding herself from the paps. I have definitely seen pics of Jennifer Garner when she is annoyed with the paps (when they followed her and Violet into a grocery store.) Brad and Angelina as well (when the paps scared Maddox while they were riding in a car in India) Some days you may be up for all of the attention, and other days you may just want some peace and quiet. Those are human emotions that celebs, just like the rest of us, are entitled to. And not all celebs are the same or have the same level of tolerance as others so you cannot expect all of them to react the same way towards the paps. Yes these guys know it comes with the territory but it doesn’t mean they have to like it. Name one person who doesn’t get tired of the ins and outs of their job at least once in a while. Name one person who hasn’t gone home at least once and bitched about how they hate one aspect of their job. It happens! That doesn’t mean they want to throw in the towel and quit. It just means sometimes things become unnerving.

Campbell on

I agree w/ many comments here. Seems like Ryan is biting the hand that feeds him. I think he is very soured by his experiences and he seems to be bitter about his alleged affair going public. True or not, I think that we create our own experienc. I DO remember a photo being taken on Easter at a church, and it did SEEM A LITTLE intrusive. But I also agree that R&R’s experiences and attitueds are what is shaping their children’s experiences and attitudes. With their regards on this why don’t they get the hell outa LA!?!

tink1217 on

well said lizzielui!

J.M. on

Bottom line the kids will be whatever they want to be and Ryan and Reese should support their kids instead of crush their dreams. Granted his kids may not want to be actors which will suit him just fine however just bc the little one’s hate the lifestyle now doesn’t mean they’ll hate it in 10 yrs. And I agree the worst place to be for paparazzi hounding is L.A. and NYC – if you can’t take the constant attention move to a more private area.

And I also think his comments about tattoos and criminal records is a bit biased. I am sure that these paparazzi are fine young men just doing their own job to get paid and put food on the table for their own families. Some paparazzi are really horrible but I think for the most part that if you ask them nicely to respect your boundaries they will. Jessica Biel said one time that she made a deal with them when on vacation that she would give them the shots they wanted if they left her alone. She said they actually agreed. So all in all I don’t think they’re ALL out to be annoying and in your face.

Sarah, CBB Editor on

Wow! My apologies for some of these comments being posted — they should never have been put live. I was away for the weekend and will be editing now.

Esme on

If their daughter is so afraid of the paps, then why don’t Reece and Ryan both act like protective parents and move both children out of L.A.? Michelle Pheiffer did and she and her husband still work. Sometimes I can’t help but think celebs just like to hear themselves complain. Seriously. If it’s that bad, move out of L.A. and work an office job that pays $45,000.00 a year. They have options.

tink1217 on

J.M…..I have heard many paparazzi are actually people with criminal records so I don’t think Ryan was exaggerating on that count. And, yes, tattoos can scare children. I have seen children get scared when they see someone with a bunch of tattoos. My mom’s ex boyfriend had both arms sleeved completely with tatts and kids were often afraid of him regardless of the fact that he was the sweetest, most gentle guy I knew.

Renee on

Remember when Reese and Ryan first broke up, their picture was on ever gossip magazine cover and there were so many lies and half-truths printed that it was probably awkward to explain it to their kids.Also, talking about why don’t they move from LA if it’s so bad isn’t a great thing to do. The ones who did that had established careers and are just now building them back up cause moving out of LA or NY takes them away from acting chances which is why Jen and Ben moved back.Why are people so upset about his statements?

Chiara on

I just want to mention that the comment of Ryan not wanting his kids to “act” seems to have been paraphrasing by the editors. What he said was that he doesn’t want his kids involved in the “business”. There’s a distinction there that the average person may miss — there are a lot of very serious, successful actors who never go near Hollywood. I have no idea what Ryan meant by his comment, of course, but from the paparazzi-centric comments framing this it sounds like what he wants his kids to avoid is fame, not acting. My guess is that they came to him with a passion for the craft of acting, on the stage or wherever else, his reaction might be quite different.

Elizabeth on

Just from watching the pictures, I think that Ava looked happy as a clam until her parents broke up. I think the world became a much more scary place [when that happened] and if the paps had been an annoyance before, after the breakup they started to seem threatening. I’m guessing the breakup inspired a bit of a feeding frenzy, also, which may have contributed to the feeling… Ava’s had a lot to deal with and when you pile a bunch of photographers on top of that, it’s a lot for a kid to take. She has my sympathy.

Chloe on

Sorry to hear they’re having these kind of problems. Do agree with those above who say that parent’s attitudes play a big part in shaping the childrens attitude, though, especially as Ava has had to deal with this her whole life. So, since she’s never known any different, her parents had the choice to explain it to her any way they wanted from the outset, and deal with it as either a huge pain, or just a part of life.

The Jolie-Pitts have been mentioned already, and I think they are a good example of what can be a healthy attitude for celeb parents to take. They usually stay calm around the paps, focused on getting where they need to go. Zahara sometimes seems to take a cheeky attitude, pointing or waving, which probably enamours her to the paparazzi to them as well! On the other hand Maddox is usually pretty stoic. Pax doesn’t even seem to notice the photographers, he very rarely is looking directly at the camera.

I love that story of when one of the ‘regular’ paparazos who followed the Jolie-Pitts around had a flat tyre (or something like that) and Angelina opened the limo door and let him hitch a ride, LOL! They probably get used to a few familiar faces after awhile.

Ans on

Imagine that.
These quotes from Ryan annoyed me.
He doesn’t want his kids to enter the business… I wonder what his parents thought when HE wanted to be an actor! And he’s bringing them up in LA, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they, or any other children of actors, would want to enter the profession. They’re around it, and it’s what their parents do… if they want to join the business, then fine. Good for them. Go after what you want. I consider that to be pretty hypocritical of Ryan.
And when he said that the kids hate the paparazzi… yes? Well, why doesn’t he take action of some sort, whether it be big or small? What is the point of him just saying that? They’re not just going to go away because he’s bitching about it. He should have thought of that before he got famous and brought children up in Hollywood.
And the fact that the kids find it hard to make friends for real because of their parents… what is the good of saying that? I mean… what is he getting at? He should have thought about that… imagine regretting it all now.
Good Lord Ryan.

tink1217 on

elizabeth, my thoughts exactly. I had always thought Ava looked much happier before the breakup. its totally understandable. And I think she was much less scared of the paparazzi back before the Disneyland incident also.

Renee, excellent point, and I am glad you posted.

Ans on

Aww, come on? What was wrong with my comment?
No name calling or anything, just my opinion. Celebrities say things like that, and yet we can’t retort. They’re the ones who put themselves in the public eye and issue statements!