Ryan Phillippe thinks the nepo baby debate is a double standard, and he’s not afraid to say so.

The actor sat down with Extra TV to chat about his upcoming movie, Prey, and he shared some updates and praise for his eldest kids and their career endeavors. While proudly relaying his daughter Ava and son Deacon‘s professional accomplishments, Phillippe also made it clear that he “gets offended” for celebrity kids like his own who are labeled nepo babies.

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The Cruel Intentions alum shared that Ava is in an exploratory phase when it comes to her career interests, but that she’s definitely drawn to acting. “She’s sort of getting her feet wet,” Phillippe said. “She’s taking time to kind of figure out exactly what it is she wants to do.”

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 14: Ava Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon attend the 29th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 14, 2024 in Santa Monica, California. <em><button class=

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 14: Ava Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon attend the 29th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 14, 2024 in Santa Monica, California. Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic.

While on the subject of his and Reese Witherspoon‘s kids following in their footsteps, Phillippe admitted, “That’s what annoys me about this whole nepotism talk with the industry. You know, so many people grow up and end up doing what their parents do, to some degree or another.” The actor explained, “I come from a really blue-collar family and so many of my family members, my cousins whose dad was an electrician, guess what they became — you know?”

Phillippe elaborated on his opinion, ultimately labeling it a double standard — and while nepotism is nuanced, he also isn’t wrong. “To me, I always get offended for the children of actors and entertainers when people bring that up because yeah, of course — that’s what they’ve grown up around,” he said. “These kids have grown up watching on set with Reese or with me — it seems natural [that they would be interested in entertainment careers], I think,” he concluded with a laugh.

Ryan Phillippe & Reese Witherspoon at the “Pleasantville” premiere. <em>Photo by Barry King/WireImage.</em>Ryan Phillippe & Reese Witherspoon at the “Pleasantville” premiere. <em><button class=

Ryan Phillippe & Reese Witherspoon at the “Pleasantville” premiere. Photo by Barry King/WireImage.

This isn’t the first time the Phillippe family has been involved in the nepotism debate. In November 2023, Deacon was publically branded a nepo baby after his New York City apartment tour with TikTok star Caleb Simpson went viral. Despite having roommates and speaking humbly, much of the public remained critical of the circumstances that led to Deacon being able to afford a spacious NYC loft.

During his interview, Phillippe also revealed just how deeply he’s bonded with his son, explaining that they’re “particularly close” out of his three kids “because we have so much in common.” The I Know What You Did Last Summer star gushed, “He makes me proud every single day of his life just in regard to the young man he’s become to how he operates within the world. He’s just such a source of light and love, and he’s very solid and spiritual. He’s got an incredible work ethic.”

Of Deacon’s musical and acting pursuits, Phillippe shared, “He’s really evolving as a musician. He’s put out a lot of really good stuff at a young age and I’m excited to see what the future holds for him. I just feel the world is lucky to have him.”

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 14: Ava Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon attend the 29th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 14, 2024 in Santa Monica, California. <em>Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic.</em>SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 14: Ava Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon attend the 29th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 14, 2024 in Santa Monica, California. <em><button class=

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 14: Ava Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon attend the 29th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 14, 2024 in Santa Monica, California. Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic.

Additionally, the Prey actor revealed that Deacon could soon be starring alongside him on screen. “He may be joining me on this series and playing my character’s brother in the flashbacks, so I’m kind of excited about that possibly happening,” Phillippe told the outlet.

The ’90s heartthrob welcomed Ava, 24, and Deacon, 20 during his marriage to Witherspoon. Phillippe also shares 12-year-old daughter Kai with his ex-girlfriend Alexis Knapp.

Before you go, check out these celebrities whose kids want to follow in their parents’ footsteps.

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