Ryan Phillippe explains Ava's name, can't believe he has an 8-year-old

03/20/2008 at 09:06 PM ET

Many entertainers are fans of other artists, but Ryan Phillippe takes it a step further. The 33-year-old actor says that not only is his bulldog named Frank Sinatra, but his daughter’s name was inspired by Frank’s life as well.

My daughter’s name is Ava … [like] Ava Gardner, because to me she was the only woman who could break Sinatra. So the idea of that name to me is very classy and strong.

Ava is evolving into that classy and strong image as she grows older — something which is unbelievable to Ryan.

Ava is 8. I can’t believe I have an 8-year-old daughter! An amazing, beautiful 8-year-old-daughter. I feel like an 8-year-old myself a lot of the time, so it’s shocking to me.

Mom is Reese Witherspoon, with whom he also has son Deacon Reese, 4. Ryan’s latest film, Stop-Loss, opens next Friday.

Source: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Click below to watch the appearance on video.

FILED UNDER: News , Video

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Corkylu on

I always thought they said Ava was named after Ryan’s Grandmother?

Natasha on

I think Ava’s middle name (Elizabeth) is after her…but I’m not sure

brooke on

I’m pretty sure elizabeth is the family name. I always think of ava gardner too, when I heard the name ava. It makes me think of a beautiful strong lady. My cousin is expecting her 2nd child next week, and her name will be Ava.

Sasha on

I’m looking forward to seeing Stop-Loss, it’s by the same director as Boys Don’t Cry.

Voiceofreason on

Is anyone as cynical as I am?

I think he talks about how he’s a father because of the bad press he has had over his divorce and subsequent relationship with Abbie Cornish (along with rumours of repeatedly cheating on his ex wife).

I am suspicious of any celebrity who has had a bit of a rough time in the press using their kids as their way of rehabilitating their image to Middle America.

I think his ex-wife is equally guilty at using her role as a parent to make herself an angel, along with countless other celebrities.

Hollywood is nothing but smoke and mirrors. All of the press stuff are staged and planned. The people who own movie studios own tv studios and very much so want to sell sell sell movies as commodities and products, along with their stars.

MissWiggy on

Has it ever been said if Ryan got joint physical custody of the kids? I know Reese asked for sole physical, but that last year he asked for joint. No one ever said what happened with that…

Sarah’s note: Not sure, but they seem to split the time pretty equally, so I assume joint.

Roise on

Elizabeth is also Reese’s mother’s name. I remember hearing somewhere how Reese commented that Ava was named for Ava Gardner, because Ava was one of Ryan’s favorite actresses.

On a separate note, I watched that episode when it aired, and I couldn’t tell if Ryan was being serious about walking off. But he did look highly annoyed…

Sarah’s note: He was joking, but Jay was really razzing him!

Lauren on

I’m not sure, Sarah-I saw the interview when it aired, and between Jay showing that old Armani Jeans commercial where Ryan runs around nude and that vile “comedienne” that came on after, Ryan could not hide how uncomfortable he was. Watching his reaction while she was on was hilarious; you could literally see him inching away from her on the couch, lol! He has always seemed to be the polar opposite of Reese in terms of personality imo.

Sarah’s note: Oh I didn’t see her, I turned it off after Ryan’s interview!

jasmine on

I swear I read somewhere that she was named after her grandmother…

Ashley on

In a weird way anyone named Ava is named after Ava Gardner….she brought the name to prominence. The name was not on anyone’s radar until she became a star.

Alicia on

I’m pretty sure that right after Ava was born, Reese went on a talk show and said that Ava was named because it was similar to Ryan’s grandmother’s name Eva and because he was a fan of Ava Gardner.

tara on

first of all ava’s middle name was lavina!but beautiful name