Weee-oooo weee-oooo ALERT: Elle published the best interview I have ever read in my entire life today. The subject? Actor, ex-husband of Reese Witherspoon, and self-proclaimed polymath Ryan Phillippe. Of the first three sentences he speaks, one is this: "And now, I'm really involved in helping to liberate a small country."
Ryan never explicitly tells interviewer Justine Harman the name of the country, or how he is involved in liberating it, but that's okay. Ryan Phillippe is doing a lot of things.
I'm still acting, and I still love it, but I really want to try—and be willing to fail—in a bunch of different realms. I produced a documentary, a surf movie about the genocide in West Papua, that won a bunch of awards. And now, I'm really involved in helping to liberate a small country. That takes time away from acting, you know. And then I was writing and directing my first independent film; I'm directing my second this spring. I'm raising kids, as a single father, and I've got this startup. I get comments all the time on social media like, 'What ever happened to him?' or 'Where have you been?' Like, I'm doing stuff! It may not be stuff that you see, but I'm doing stuff.
Ryan Philippe produced a surf documentary about genocide in West Papua that won a bunch of awards. He's liberating a small country. He identifies as a single father despite the fact that appears to have shared custody over his three children. He's got this startup called Deedle.
Hard to imagine, but Ryan Phillippe would be doing even more things if he had grown up with YouTube.
You're a polymath!
Yeah! Yeah, I am! I love that word. You know, Pharrell loves that word. ...We live in a polymath potential society where you don't have to just do the same job. I say to my kids all the time, "You can go on Youtube and learn anything." If that had existed when I was growing up when my brain was the sponge-like thing that theirs is...They can learn any instrument. They can learn a language. They can learn how to code! Like, why would you ever just be one thing your whole life? I mean that's an antiquated way to go about.
But despite the wonders of YouTube that are available to her, Ryan Phillippe is concerned about 15-year-old daughter Ava. He speculated—to Elle's Hot Guy/Cold Drink column—that she is depressed:
You know, depression has been a huge obstacle for me ever since I was a child. As you get older I think it decreases some, but I'm just innately kind of a sad person. I'm empathetic, and I take on the feelings of others and transpose myself into the position of others. I see it in my daughter. She has it, and I wish to hell she didn't. It's just, some people do have this pervading sort of sadness or they're so analytical that they can kind of take the fun out of things because they think too much.
Good thing Ryan Phillippe can crack a joke.
And you seem pretty funny—even on social media!
Yeah, I am. I'm way funnier than people know me to be.
He also describes himself as "so, so pro female."
I'm a big supporter. I'm very feminist, man. I was raised by four women, my dad worked the 4 p.m. to midnight shift, so I was basically raised by four women. I'm so pro, pro female. There were some people laughing at Patricia Arquette's statement at the Oscars, but, in the state of California, women make 83 cents on the dollar compared to the man's full dollar. I mean over time, and over bodies, that adds up! It's not equal!
Finally, Ryan Phillippe can do this.
Harman writes of the video, which Ryan Phillippe showed her during the interview: "He swears [the box] is chest high."