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Ryan Philippe Slams 'Nepotism Talk' In Defense Of Kids With Reese Witherspoon

Ryan Phillippe is sick of the conversation around nepotism in Hollywood.

The “Cruel Intentions” star shares two adult children with his ex-wife, Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon. It seems natural to him that their kids are now pursuing entertainment careers of their own, he told ExtraTV in an interview published Wednesday.

Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Philippe in 2006, after Witherspoon won the Academy Award for Best Actress for
Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Philippe in 2006, after Witherspoon won the Academy Award for Best Actress for "Walk The Line." Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage

“That’s what always annoys me about this whole nepotism talk with the industry,” he said. “You know, so many people grow up and end up doing what their parents do, you know, to some degree or another.”

The “I Know What You Did Last Summer” actor added, “I come from a really blue-collar family, and so many of my family members ― my cousins whose dad was an electrician, guess what they became?”

Daughter Ava Elizabeth Phillippe, 24, is “sort of getting her feet wet” with acting, her dad said. And son Deacon Reese Phillippe, 20, is a musician who also may soon have an acting cameo alongside his famous father.

Ava Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, and Deacon Phillippe in 2019.
Ava Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, and Deacon Phillippe in 2019. Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter

“I always get offended for the children of actors and entertainers when people bring that up because yeah, of course, that’s what they’ve grown up around,” Ryan Phillippe said.

Last year, Deacon Philippe took some heat online after giving a tour of his New York City apartment on TikTok, with many criticizing him for glossing over his parents’ wealth.

Discourse around Hollywood nepotism exploded in late 2022, when New York Magazine ran a comprehensive feature on the “nepo-baby boom.” The magazine’s cover included the faces of celebs like Zoë Kravitz (daughter of Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz) and Maya Hawke (daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke) superimposed on pictures of babies. A headline proclaimed, “She Has Her Mother’s Eyes. And Agent.”

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