Pal: Ryan Phillippe and Abbie Cornish Are 'Doing Great'

Pal: Ryan Phillippe and Abbie Cornish Are 'Doing Great'
Ryan Phillippe and Abbie Cornish
Kevin Winter/Getty

09/29/2008 AT 08:40 AM EDT

Ryan Phillippe and Abbie Cornish, who only recently took their relationship public, are thriving as a couple, according to a friend.

"They're great," Rob Brown, Phillippe's pal and castmate in last spring's Stop-Loss, told PEOPLE last week at the Hollywood premiere of The Express. "I was with them last night. They're good people."

Phillippe, 33 and Cornish, 26, were rumored to have been dating for months but only attended their first major event as a couple in June, when he proudly accompanied her to the 2008 Australian in Film Breakthrough Awards.

Phillippe called his divorce from Reese Witherspoon – who is now dating Jake Gyllenhaal – "the darkest, saddest place I had ever been."

But, says Brown, the actor has recovered well and has made the best of a difficult time. "Yeah, he's alright," Brown said. "He's in good spirits and he seems happy. And I'm happy for him."

Brown – who stars with Dennis Quaid in The Express, about college football hero Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy – also credits Phillippe for helping prepare him for the role as Davis.

"Every time I work with someone who's more tenured than I am, I just have to sop up whatever knowledge they have, and that’s what I did with Ryan," Brown said. "In a lot of ways working on that film prepared me for this film."

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