Ryan Phillippe Disses His Own Career: “I’ve Made 30-Plus Films,” “Five of Them Are Good”

Ryan Phillippe
Ryan Phillippe took a shot at his own movie career, telling the Los Angeles Times that only a few of the 30-plus films he's made are actually good Christopher Polk/Getty Images

For every Cruel Intentions, there's at least one MacGruber. Ryan Phillippe has been a working actor for more than two decades now, appearing in films including Gosford Park, Flags of Our Fathers, Breach, and the Oscar-winning ensemble movie Crash. But by his own admission, the majority of the titles on his resume are, in retrospect, just filler.

"I've made 30-plus films over 20 years," Reese Witherspoon's ex-husband, 40, told the Los Angeles Times in a recent Skype interview. "And in my opinion, five of them are good. So you slave away and you work hard and you want to make something great, and a lot of times you end up disappointed. There are a lot of elements that are beyond your control when you're an actor for hire," he added.

Consider, for example, the 2011 flick Setup. "I did this terrible movie with 50 Cent," the Lincoln Lawyer actor recalled to the Times. "It was just a situation I didn't want to be in. I was sold a bill of goods and it turned out to be something different, which is often the case in this business." (Other less-than-stellar movies in Phillippe's past include 1998's 54, 2001's Company Man, and 2005's Chaos.)

In part because of that, the father of three has soured a bit on the idea of acting for a living, and is now trying his hand at directing. He co-wrote, directed, and stars in the new movie Catch Hell, about a past-his-prime actor who is kidnapped on location in Louisiana.

"Acting alone doesn't sustain me the same way it used to. Which I think is completely okay if you've done something for 20 years," he told the L.A. Times of why he wanted to direct. "Trying something else becomes really appealing."

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