Five Favorite Films with Ryan Phillippe

The Lincoln Lawyer star also chats about working with iconic directors.

From being "discovered" while getting a haircut to landing his first major role in a Ridley Scott film, Ryan Phillippe has enjoyed the kind of good fortune that many only dream of. But his success didn't come without hard work; the young actor has remained busy since his fist stint on the ABC soap One Life to Live almost nineteen years ago, moving from popular teen fare like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Cruel Intentions to critical darlings like Gosford Park and Oscar winner Crash. This week, Phillippe takes on a nuanced dramatic role as Louis Roulet, a successful LA realtor accused of a mysterious murder, in the film adaptation of Michael Connelly's novel The Lincoln Lawyer. RT was fortunate enough to chat with Phillippe about his Five Favorite Films, as well as his fortuitous introduction to the film industry and what it was like to work with legendary directors like Clint Eastwood and Robert Altman.



Cool Hand Luke (1967, 100% Tomatometer)

The film that sort of made me want to be an actor was Cool Hand Luke. I watched it one Sunday when I skipped church, and I was home sick, and it was on TBS, and I was about 12 or 13 years old. I had never seen a man cry like that. [SPOILER AHEAD] When Paul Newman finds out his mother's died and he sits on the bed and plays "Plastic Jesus" on the banjo [END SPOILER], I was so fascinated by this masculine tough guy getting emotional, and that sort of started my interest in acting. Figuring out how one gets to that place, and why. And both he and Steve McQueen were the two people I first connected to or looked up to as actors.




The Sand Pebbles (1966, 88% Tomatometer)

The Sand Pebbles with McQueen is one of those films that shows more of his sensitivity. People tend to think of him as just the badass, and I love the fact that that film lets you see another side of him. And I also think it's beautifully shot. So that's another one on my list.




The Graduate (1967, 89% Tomatometer)

The remaining three are films that I just feel are nearly perfect. The Graduate, from top to bottom, visually, sonically, performance-wise, the energy, and the time when it came out, and what it represented - that whole Holden Caufield sort of aspect to it. I think the music, obviously; there are very few films where the music has been so married to the actual film itself, and I love that about The Graduate. It seems like that's the way it always should have been. It's just amazing to me how perfectly it complements the film.




Fargo (1996, 94% Tomatometer)

I have to go with a Coen brothers movie, because they are my inspiration as producers, filmmakers -- I want to direct soon. Again, I think that Fargo is a nearly perfect film. Visually, comedically; it manages to be tense, and it's smart. I love the fact that it's based on somewhat of a true story -- I think that's kind of where my interests lie, the idea of doing a true crime story that's darkly comedic; that's something that really appeals to me. I could name several of their films, but Fargo is the one that just... I always think about that shot in the parking lot in the snow, when he's just trying to scrape the window off and he just loses his mind. [laughs]




Raging Bull (1980, 98% Tomatometer)

And then one of the most inspirational films for an actor would, in my opinion, have to be Raging Bull. Just to see what De Niro went through physically, the span of time he takes that character through, the insecurity and the bravado and the anger. I think it's still a performance that's relatively unmatched in film history.




Next, Phillippe talks about how he got into acting, and what it was like working with some of cinema's greatest modern directors.

Comments

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

These are good movies, especially Raging Bull. Too bad it isn't enough for me to see him in The Lincoln Lawyer, unless of course it gets a fresh rating.

Mar 15 - 04:17 PM

General Wiz

Carlos Flores

Right now it has a 100% with 10 reviews, so it should finish fresh.

Mar 15 - 04:55 PM

mjprogue

Mike PArker

HAH...yeah a fresh rating is enough of a reason to watch a film you otherwise have no interest in...WTF is wrong with you people?

Critics are people too...their opinions are no more valid than anyone elses...

Mar 16 - 05:44 PM

Rusty Broomhandle

Jaco Gerber

So by your reasoning, if 9 out of 10 "people" (which include the critics) say a movie stinks, I would think there's a 90% chance that the movie stinks.

Anyway, RT providesd an audience rating too. Sometimes this matches the critics' rating, and sometimes, as is with Battle: Los Angeles, it does not.

Mar 17 - 05:24 AM

kiminesh

ganesh shan

so you're asking a question or answering or...? O.o

Mar 17 - 11:45 PM

sirdarkhorse

GiO Herrera

mmmmm. excuse me....
critics do not pay to watch movies...
therefore they can not be trusted.
thank you
>slides middle finger along nose, pushing up spectacles<

Mar 18 - 09:51 PM

Justin y.

Justin yeapyeap

No one said they were not people, but if a review was given by "people" with an overall review of say 11% then i am sure you might not think about going to theatres and paying the money to see it, and it's not like it is 1 "person" review they are basing it off of, it's a majority of critics. No you should not decide to see a movie or not off of the review, but it is nice to see an opinion by people.

What really makes me laugh at you is your on a review site, with reviews by critics, and you talk like there opinion means shit to you. So you need to remember to take your "happy" pill and lighten up a bit.

Mar 19 - 07:38 PM

algreen99

AL Green

Justin, I have been on this site for almost a year and to this day I have not read a critics review of any movie. I dont value any critics opinion. The only opinion that matters is my own. I joined this site for 2 main reasons. Movie news on upcoming movies, and to rate movies that I have seen. I dont write reviews, rating them is enough for me. I stay away from Rotten when I know I am going to see a movie so I wont accidentally see something on the news feed about the movie. Personally I think reading reviews before going to see a movie takes away from the experience. Going in it with multiple peoples opinions already in your head doesnt appeal to me and it never will. I might be wrong but I feel like people are operating like they are tight for money and cant afford to take a risk just off of the preview. If that is the case then I understand but as a movie fan I want to go in there because the preview got my attention. Does that mean the movie will automatically be good? Of course not but at least I am walking into something that interests me with no one elses opinion already in my head. I like the big screen experience & I am not tight for money so I am willing to take the risk on genres and actors I am a fan of. I agree with *Mjprogue* To anyone who puts faith in critics that must mean that you think Twilight is better than every single movie rated under 50 percent.

Mar 20 - 02:40 AM

Peter W.

Peter Winters

I'm not having sex with my wife tonight unless she gets a fresh rating.

Mar 18 - 09:54 AM

Yoni G.

Yoni Gottlieb

What ridley scott, clint eastwood and robert altman movie he was in

Mar 15 - 04:37 PM

RT-Ryan

RT-Ryan .

Ridley Scott - White Squall, Clint Eastwood - Flags of Our Fathers, Robert Altman - Gosford Park.

Mar 15 - 04:47 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Kind of unmemorable as an actor if you ask me, despite working with some notable directors such as Ridly Scott as one of the many boys on the disasterous sailing trip and doesn't do much for Robert Altman in Gosford Park!

Mar 16 - 01:36 PM

sirdarkhorse

GiO Herrera

"impresssivve"
-Darth Vader to Luke; The Empire Strikes Back

Mar 18 - 09:55 PM

Yoni G.

Yoni Gottlieb

good list

Mar 15 - 04:37 PM

Bye bye

Steven Bailey

I guess I'll have to start skipping the part where they explain their choices, cause there was a ginormous spoiler in his explanation for Cool Hand Luke.

Anyhoo, Fargo was great and I'm looking very forward to finally watching Raging Bull. I watched The Graduate and didn't walk away very pleased, but the movie was beautifully shot.

Mar 15 - 04:44 PM

RT-Ryan

RT-Ryan .

Hmmm... I suppose you're right. I'll tag a spoiler alert in there.

Mar 15 - 04:53 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Come on man, the movies 50 years old. The spoiler alert statute of limitations has expired. It's also not super integral to the greater plot, but I suppose if you must you must.

Mar 15 - 05:16 PM

Dave J

Dave J

It's "new" to anyone who hasn't seen it, despite how old it is!

Mar 16 - 01:50 PM

Dave J

Dave J

The 'statue of limitations' rule doesn't apply to nothing except to our justice system and perhaps to gift cards! This is something that you want to believe to be true, but it's absolutely BS if you ask me as well as no idea why your comparing a film is 'EXPIRED' like milk because milk goes rotten after awhile insinutating that it's the exact same way with films!

Mar 16 - 04:47 PM

RT-Ryan

RT-Ryan .

Ridley Scott - White Squall, Clint Eastwood - Flags of Our Fathers, Robert Altman - Gosford Park.

Mar 15 - 04:47 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Kind of unmemorable as an actor if you ask me, despite working with some notable directors such as Ridly Scott as one of the many boys on the disasterous sailing trip and doesn't do much for Robert Altman in Gosford Park!

Mar 16 - 01:36 PM

sirdarkhorse

GiO Herrera

"impresssivve"
-Darth Vader to Luke; The Empire Strikes Back

Mar 18 - 09:55 PM

RT-Ryan

RT-Ryan .

Hmmm... I suppose you're right. I'll tag a spoiler alert in there.

Mar 15 - 04:53 PM

General Wiz

Carlos Flores

Right now it has a 100% with 10 reviews, so it should finish fresh.

Mar 15 - 04:55 PM

merrygoround

Josh Hoffman

he looks like scarlett johansson

Mar 15 - 04:59 PM

CFM

'schak Attack

Ah, no. SJ is hot. Ryan is not. Because he is a dude.

Mar 16 - 08:50 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I heard Sean Penn tagged them both while drunk though.

Mar 16 - 11:55 AM

merrygoround

Josh Hoffman

CFM: Your logic is deeply flawed.

Bigbrother: Yes, he so did.

mrmister: OMG! He does!!!!!

Mar 17 - 12:09 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Come on man, the movies 50 years old. The spoiler alert statute of limitations has expired. It's also not super integral to the greater plot, but I suppose if you must you must.

Mar 15 - 05:16 PM

Dave J

Dave J

It's "new" to anyone who hasn't seen it, despite how old it is!

Mar 16 - 01:50 PM

Dave J

Dave J

The 'statue of limitations' rule doesn't apply to nothing except to our justice system and perhaps to gift cards! This is something that you want to believe to be true, but it's absolutely BS if you ask me as well as no idea why your comparing a film is 'EXPIRED' like milk because milk goes rotten after awhile insinutating that it's the exact same way with films!

Mar 16 - 04:47 PM

Brad H.

Brad Hadfield

Though I respect some of the projects he's selected since venturing out of teen fare, I never cared for Phillipe much as an actor, until I recently saw Breach. That was a great film. Of course, Chris Cooper was the main attraction in that one.

Mar 15 - 05:36 PM

David

David Roberts

Yes! Kudos to the Breach mention. Very underrated and Cooper is a total force in that movie. Phillipe holds his own and can't forget Laura Linney.

Loved the elevator scene to cap the movie as well.

Mar 17 - 03:48 PM

Jon J.

Jon Johannesson

Huzzah, Fargo. One of my favorites as well, a superb film by the Coen brothers. Also, a great choice of scene from that movie, it really shows the character's frailty.

Mar 15 - 05:48 PM

The Reaper

Iron Will

Wait minute. He thinks Fargo is kinda based on a true story? He doesn't know it was all BS and made up by the Cohen Bros? Wow. And he's an actor!

Mar 15 - 05:57 PM

jay b.

jay bow

True the story as is is made up but a lot of the aspects in it are things that have happened in the area i.e. the wood chiper. But if its something you would watch off hand there is no reason why not to believe it happened. you don't need to investagate and know everything about a film for it to be one of your favorites.

Mar 15 - 09:38 PM

quietus28

jj l

I had the same response, that he still thinks it's based on a true story after the Coens have come out and said they pretty much made most, if not all, of it up.

Mar 16 - 03:11 PM

Jeannie M.

Jeannie M.

This is an outstanding list, but Ryan, I hate to break it to you but Fargo is not based on a true story. That statement at the beginning of the movie was a hoax by the Coen Brothers. It is pure fiction, but still a superb film.

Mar 15 - 05:59 PM

RT-Ryan

RT-Ryan .

To be fair, I think Ryan absolved himself okay on that one. He did say "somewhat of a true story," and the Coen brothers themselves have said that the story is cobbled together from a few different true accounts they know of. In any case, I don't think that detracts from the film, or from Ryan's love for it.

Mar 15 - 06:09 PM

Chris L.

Chris Liu

Coens have named one particular homicide case that was the inspiration for the murder in Fargo in a DVD commentary.

Phillippe: 1. Anonymous internet poster: 0.

Mar 15 - 09:20 PM

RT-Ryan

RT-Ryan .

To be fair, I think Ryan absolved himself okay on that one. He did say "somewhat of a true story," and the Coen brothers themselves have said that the story is cobbled together from a few different true accounts they know of. In any case, I don't think that detracts from the film, or from Ryan's love for it.

Mar 15 - 06:09 PM

Chris L.

Chris Liu

Coens have named one particular homicide case that was the inspiration for the murder in Fargo in a DVD commentary.

Phillippe: 1. Anonymous internet poster: 0.

Mar 15 - 09:20 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Can we get a list from someone people even care about? I'm pretty sure these lists are just a minor plug for these somewhat obscure actors and their crappy upcoming films.

Mar 15 - 06:15 PM

futures.

Matt Smith

Obviously RT gets these interviews from actors while they are on the promotional circuit for whatever film they have coming out. I don't see why anyone would care about that. And secondly, anyone who is checking movie websites would definitely know who Ryan Phillipe is...he is a very established actor.

Mar 15 - 09:06 PM

CFM

'schak Attack

Please try to not be so positive, dude.

Mar 16 - 08:53 AM

dj Mark

Mark Marquis

You heard him RT Ryan... please check with Valmordas before you post any actor's list to see if that actor is care-worthy. The rest of us I suppose don't count.

Mar 16 - 01:31 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

You're damn skippy.

Mar 16 - 02:55 PM

RT-Ryan

RT-Ryan .

Well, to be completely dishonest, I only did the interview because he and I have the same name. That's kind of how we choose all of our interview subjects: completely inane connections to things absolutely no one else cares about. In fact, I had a choice between Phillippe and Robert Zemeckis, and I took Phillippe purely so I could riff with him about how amazing it is to be a Ryan. Also, Zemeckis never returned my sexts.

Incidentally, this is also how I make all my big life decisions.

Mar 16 - 05:28 PM

Rusty Broomhandle

Jaco Gerber

"Also, Zemeckis never returned my sexts"

... He never returned your whatnow?

Mar 17 - 05:26 AM

Peter W.

Peter Winters

Freddie Prinze Jr - is that you?

Mar 18 - 10:03 AM

steve s.

steve smith

lets see...... cool hand luke is ok but weird. sand pebbles is ok but disturbing. the graduate is kinda lame/pathetic. fargo is awesome/weird.
raging bull is watchable once every 15 years like the deer hunter. added up, ryan phillippe is a little goofy. in a good way.

Mar 15 - 06:17 PM

Don't Tase Me Bro

Don't Tase Me Bro

You're so, so wrong on COOL HAND LUKE dude.

Mar 16 - 03:17 AM

Brad H.

Brad Hadfield

The Graduate is lame/pathetic? Okay, an entire generation (and subsequent ones that can appreciate a movie within the context of the time it was made, not that that's even necessary) must be wrong. I wouldn't put it on my Top 5, but it's a good movie nonetheless.

Mar 16 - 05:43 AM

Smartest Person Here

Greg Bonnette

Ok. Cool Hand Luke is on his list. He gets to live.

Mar 15 - 06:35 PM

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

lol

Mar 15 - 09:28 PM

Rick Blaine

Max Salling

Pretty good list. Haven't seen The Sand Pebbles but I'm definitely going to check it out.

I actually kinda want to see The Lincoln Lawyer. I was shocked when I found out that it wasn't based on a John Grisham novel. I guess Michael Connelly isn't too far off.

Mar 15 - 07:59 PM

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