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Ryan Phillippe Reacts to Hearing Cruel Intentions’ Theme Song ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ Years Later (Exclusive)

Ryan Phillippe Reacts to Hearing Cruel Intentions Theme Song Bittersweet Symphony
Ryan PhillippeInvision/AP/Shutterstock

Sebastian stans! Cruel Intentions’ theme song, The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony,” still follows Ryan Phillippe to this day — but he’s all for it.

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“It makes me smile almost every time. No matter where I am,” the Lady of the Manor actor, 47, exclusively told Us Weekly.

“And there’s been a couple of times in my life where I’ve been, like, at a gas station or whatever. And I’ll suddenly hear the song from across the way. And then there’ll be a group of people waving to me. Like, they put the song on a purpose because they saw me there,” he continued. “But to have to be associated with a song, there could be way worse songs to be associated with. You know, it’s a really great song still. And so when I hear those strings start up, it does, it still makes me happy. So it makes me smile.”

Phillippe starred in the 1999 romantic drama alongside Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair. In the final scene, the 1997 hit plays as Witherspoon’s Annette drives away before the credits roll. (The Counting Crows’ “Colorblind” is also a favorite as Sebastian meets Annette at the top of an airport escalator and kisses her.)

Ryan Phillippe Reacts to Hearing Cruel Intentions Theme Song Bittersweet Symphony 2
Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Selma Blair, and Reese Witherspoon in ‘Cruel Intentions.’ Bob Frame/Columbia/Kobal/Shutterstock

Phillippe and Witherspoon, 45, would go on to welcome daughter Ava, 22, and son Deacon, 17, before divorcing in 2008 after seven years of marriage.

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Since playing Manhattan’s bad boy Sebastian Valmont, the actor has gone on to appear in several TV shows and films, including The Lincoln Lawyer, Damages, Secrets and Lies, Shooter and Big Sky. Over the years, the way he’s chosen projects has changed.

“That’s one of the major changes that comes with getting older and having kids and those sorts of things. You know, you start to consider projects a little differently in terms of how long you’ll be away and where you’ll be at and the people that you’ll be with and wanting it to be an enjoyable experience. It’s like you start to be more aware of only having a certain amount of time to do anything. And so you want that time to be spent wisely and around people that you like and enjoy,” he explained to Us. “Obviously, the story is always still most important in regard to saying yes, and then to put investing your time and effort into something. But it does change as you get older in terms, like, you want to be in a good situation, and you need to modify things according to what your lifestyle is and to the other responsibilities and commitments that you have from a family standpoint.”

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Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillippe in ‘Cruel Intentions.’ Melissa Moseley/Columbia/Kobal/Shutterstock

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Phillippe’s types of roles have also changed since getting his start in the industry nearly three decades ago. “Now that I’m a more mature man, I’m sure the roles are going to be different, and it opens up a whole new world of possibilities of who you can play. And that’s exciting. There’s nothing specific I have in mind. But I definitely do have the sense that there’s still sides of me yet to be shown as an actor and parts that I still want to play that I haven’t done yet,” he said. “I think that’s kind of what’s exciting about life in general is not knowing what comes back, hoping it’s something that you’re excited to do.”

Up next, the Crash star can be seen in Justin Long’s directorial debut, the supernatural comedy Lady of the Manor, and the new Peacock series, MacGruber.

“To go to work and laugh all day is such a completely different experience than to go to work thinking, ‘Oh, I have to do the scene where my wife’s just died’ or ‘I’ve lost my child.’ They’re completely different ways to work and they take a completely different part of yourself and energy to do,” he told Us. “And so there’s a relief sometimes in doing the comedic stuff, because it’s just not as heavy. It’s not as emotionally taxing as drama can be sometimes.”

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