Ryan Phillippe Biography:
Ryan Phillippe was born on September 10, 1974. He grew up in New Castle, Delaware with his three sisters: Kirsten, Lindsay, and Katelyn. His father is a chemical technician and his mother works in pre- and post-natal care.
At 17, Ryan was spotted by an agent and began trekking three hours to New York for auditions. Soon after graduating high school he moved to New York and quickly landed a landmark role on the daytime drama 'One Life to Live.' Ryan played Billy Douglas, daytime television's first gay teenage character.
After concluding his stint on 'One Life to Live', Ryan packed up and moved to Los Angeles. Living on his own, Ryan struggled for a bit. Without a car, he'd often ride the bus or skateboard to auditions. He landed roles here and there: a number of TV movies, a miniseries and guest starring roles. It was at an audition that Ryan met actor and now close friend Breckin Meyer. As told by mutual friend and fellow actor, Seth Green, "[Breckin] met Ryan at an audition for 'Man of the House' and brought him to my house asking if we could keep him." The trio of struggling young actors entertained themselves in a variety of ways (breaking into department stores after hours, dressing up for Halloween). Years later, with each actor enjoying their own successes, the three remain close, sharing an office space in Beverly Hills.
Ryan's first major screen role was in 'White Squall' based on the true story of a tragic accident at sea for a ship full of young men. Ryan described the 5 1/2 month long shoot an amazing experience. "We went to eight different countries. We're out on the boat at sea, 10 guys between the ages of 16 and 20... it was the most mind-expansive experience I'd ever had."
He then went on to costar in the teen thriller 'I Know What You Did Last Summer.' The success of the film gained Ryan lots of exposure. He followed up with roles in smaller, independent films like 'Homegrown' and 'Little Boy Blue.' After landing the lead role in '54', Ryan joined the large ensemble of talent in the film 'Playing By Heart.'
It was about this time that Ryan met Reese Witherspoon. March 22, 1997, Reese's 21st birthday party: Ryan and friend attended with plans to score free drinks and food. But after meeting the guest of honor, Ryan was immediately smitten and spent all night talking to Reese. The next morning Ryan had to catch a plane to North Carolina to begin shooting 'I Know What You Did Last Summer.' The two began a long distance courtship through letters and by phone.
Ryan's biggest screen success thus far has been shared with Reese. The two costarred alongside Sarah Michelle Geller in 'Cruel Intentions,' a modern remake of 'Dangerous Liaisons.' In it Ryan and Sarah play a pair of step-siblings who find amusement in toying with others lives. For the crucial role of Annette, the virtuous woman who Ryan's Sebastian sets out to deflower and ends up in love with, Ryan had to do some pleading with Reese to take the role. Reese had just finished four movies in a row and was looking to rest. After much begging from Ryan and the film's director, Reese finally conceded. As she puts it, "Why not? It will be great to work with Ryan."
"Cruel Intentions" went on to be a critical and box office success in 1999. Ryan and Reese had much to celebrate that year. They were married in a small ceremony on a plantation outside Charleston, South Carolina that summer. And in September of 1999, the happy couple welcomed a baby girl, Ava Elizabeth, to their family.
Ryan has continued to be diverse with his character choices. In 2000, he starred opposite Benicio Del Toro in 'The Way of the Gun.' They make a pair of unlikely film protagonists: kidnappers of a pregnant woman they hope to ransom for millions of dollars. He followed that with his role as a computer-whiz in the high-tech thriller 'Antitrust' and appeared as a Russian dancer looking to defect in the film 'Company Man’. In 2001, Ryan costarred in Robert Altman's critically-acclaimed 'Gosford Park' alongside some of England's finest acting talent: Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi, Helen Mirren and Emily Watson, to name a few. Next for Ryan was his role in 'Igby Goes Down' as the older brother to the film's title character, played by Kieran Culkin.
Coming up Ryan will be in The I Inside (2003), about a man who wakes up from a coma after two years. Ryan is also focusing on a career as a producer. He has formed a production company, Lucid Films. The company produces projects for all mediums, and is headquartered with Intermedia Films.
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