What Ryan Phillippe's Relationship With His And Reese Witherspoon's Kids Is Like

Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe had a fast-moving relationship. The couple's paths first crossed on Witherspoon's 21st birthday in 1997, and they got engaged just a year later. The happy couple tied the knot in June 1999, and their first child, Ava Phillippe, was born the following September. In August 2002, Witherspoon and Phillippe started going to couples therapy, suggesting there was trouble in paradise. They ironed out their issues and Witherspoon gave birth to their son, Deacon Phillippe, in October 2003. 

The couple ultimately called it quits in 2006. Nevertheless, they continue to co-parent their children and put their differences aside to join them for every major event. An insider offered some insight into Ryan's parenting to Us Weekly: "Ryan has been an awesome parent [...] Everything pretty much stops for him when his kids need him. Even during the pandemic when he's been in literally another country, he's present in their lives and he is still the 'cool parent' in their eyes. [...] He is really proud of who they've become." 

Given just how frequently Ryan posts about Deacon on social media, there's no doubt that the two share a strong bond. But the same apparently cannot be said for Ryan's relationship with his daughter, because, for a while, many believed they weren't on the best of terms since Ava didn't follow him on Instagram despite following her mother. However, those rumors were put to rest by just how sweetly Ryan has spoken about her.

Ava Phillippe helped Ryan through his divorce

When Ava Phillippe turned 15, Ryan Phillippe took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to pen a sweet tribute to his little girl. The "Cruel Intentions" star was actually shooting "The Way of the Gun" in Utah when Witherspoon went into labor in California, but fortunately, Ryan made it home to watch his daughter come into this world. The actor finished his post by noting simply, "15 years ago I learned what love truly is."

When he appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in 2007, Ryan shared that Ava helped soften the blow of his divorce from Witherspoon: "She is beyond, in terms of like conscientiousness and maturity, and she has gotten me through this," (via People). He acknowledged how weird it seemed that a child was her father's support system, but Ryan testified to how special it was. As Ava grew up, everyone could see that she closely resembled her dad, and due to Ryan's youthful looks, he's often mistaken for her brother. 

In 2016, Ryan informed James Corden that his daughter couldn't be more disgusted by this. So, you can only imagine how she felt when many thought her then-boyfriend, Owen Mahoney, closely resembled her dad too. After seeing a slew of comments from people pointing out the similarities and some even saying that a photograph of the couple reminded them of a young Reese Witherspoon and Ryan, Ava finally responded to one arguing that they didn't see the resemblance, writing, "Big [thanks]," (via E! News). 

Deacon Phillippe is his dad's best friend

Deacon Phillippe made his acting debut in 2022, in the hit show "Never Have I Ever," but he's more focused on becoming a musician. Speaking to Interview magazine in 2020, Deacon revealed that after he made the decision, he first sought out his father's advice on instrumentation to expand his knowledge beyond singing, and then found more info online. Meanwhile, Ryan Phillippe told Entertainment Tonight that Deacon planned to study music at New York University. 

He also gushed about his son's EP: "It's incredible. I'm so excited for people to hear. It's really good stuff. I'm super proud." In honor of his 17th birthday, in 2020, Deacon and his father ventured to Joshua Tree to find aliens. During an appearance on "Live With Kelly and Ryan," the "I Know What You Did Last Summer" star acknowledged that sadly the trip proved unsuccessful because they didn't find any signs of extraterrestrial life, despite trying their best. 

Nonetheless, it was a great bonding experience for the father-son duo, who also share a deeply rooted love for music. In particular, Ryan said they had a magical time listening to Travis Scott's "Astroworld" for the first time while on a Yellowstone road trip in 2018. When he spoke to People in 2021, the actor noted that he loved hiking with Deacon. He added that they frequently hit the gym together, and his son made the workout look easy while he struggled.