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Ryan Phillippe Has Had It With the ‘Nepotism Talk’ in the Industry: ‘There’s So Much Rejection’

Ryan Phillippe Is Annoyed By Nepotism Talk in the Industry
Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

Ryan Phillippe is drawing the line at the criticism of nepo babies especially when children want to follow in their famous parents footsteps.

“That’s what always annoys me about this whole nepotism talk with the industry,” Phillippe, 49, said in an interview with Extra published on Tuesday, March 19. “You know, so many people grow up and end up doing what their parents do, you know, to some degree or another.”

Phillippe shared that he “always” gets “offended” when the topic of nepotism comes up, especially considering he has children interested in the entertainment business.

“Of course, that’s what they’ve grown up around. By the way, that familiarity makes them handle some of what is hard about this industry,” he explained. “You’ve gotta have a thick skin. There’s so much rejection and nasty things that can be said about you. It’s not all celebration.”

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Phillippe is a father of three. He shares daughter Ava, 24, and son Deacon, 20, with ex-wife Reese Witherspoon in addition to daughter Kai, 12, with actress Alexis Knapp. The actor admitted that his and Witherspoon’s children spent a lot of time with them while they were at work.

“These kids have grown up watching on set with Reese or with me,” he said. “It seems natural, I think.”

Ava and Deacon have both decided to pursue their own paths in Hollywood. Since graduating college, Ava has focused on her modeling career and Deacon — a current student at New York University — has released original music. He dropped his debut LP, A New Earth, in April 2023 and his parents and older sister attended the album release party.

Ryan Phillippe Is Annoyed By Nepotism Talk in the Industry
Ryan Phillippe and Deacon Reese Phillippe JC Olivera/WireImage

As Deacon continues to mark milestones in his career, Phillippe can’t help but boast about his son. Phillippe teased that in addition to music, there was a chance that he and Deacon could be working together on a TV series in the future.

“He makes me proud every single day of his life just in regards to the young man he’s become, to how he operates in the world,” he gushed to the outlet on Tuesday. “He’s just such a source of light and love, and he’s very solid and spiritual. He’s got an incredible work ethic.”

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Deacon also made headlines late last year when he gave a tour of his flashy apartment to TikToker Caleb Simpson.

“Location: West Village. Occupation: Student 👨‍🎓,” the caption read via Instagram in November 2023.

The clip, which did not mention Deacon’s parents at all, ended up going viral. Deacon was subsequently called out for being a, you guessed it, nepo baby.

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