Ryan Phillippe Finds a Balance Between Work & Fatherhood

Ryan Phillippe Finds a Balance Between Work & Fatherhood
Ryan Phillippe
Michael Loccisano/FilmMagic

updated 03/17/2008 at 08:00 AM EDT

originally published 03/17/2008 05:40PM

Ryan Phillippe knows he's got it good.

"My kids are great," the actor – who split with wife Reese Witherspoon in 2006 – told reporters Sunday at the Stop-Loss press day in Beverly Hills. "[I'm] writing right now ... I finished [Franklyn], a really cool film in London, at the beginning of the winter. And yeah, man, no complaints."

But that doesn't mean life is perfect. In fact, like all single parents, Phillippe said he struggles to balance professional obligations with being a dad to daughter Ava, 8, and son Deacon, 4.

"You feel like a bad father," the 33-year-old admitted. "Last night, I got home exhausted ... At the end of a press junket, literally you don't want to talk anymore. And I felt like a mute father."

Although he made dinner for the kids and tried to be energetic, "We just ended up in my bed watching Nancy Drew," Phillippe said.

In Stop-Loss, Phillippe plays a squad leader during the Iraq conflict. The role, he said, left him shuddering at the thought of his own kids going off to war.

"The idea of any harm coming to your children is the most terrible thing you could imagine," he explained.

And if Ava or Deacon decided to enlist? "I come from a military family and I would support that," he said. "But God, I hope it doesn't ever come to that."

Abbie Cornish – Phillippe's costar turned real-life girlfriend – did not attend the press junket. But he couldn't help singing her praises.

"She's beautiful and all that, but she's a tomboy," the actor said. "She's a tough Aussie chick!"

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