Ryan Phillippe is a brooding, serious actor on screen and off. The 34-year old star of the new film Stop Loss, rarely gives of himself in interviews, answers questions with a crisp brevity and rarely opens up. In Stop Loss, he plays a soldier in Iraq forced to do a renewed tour of duty and decides to buck the system, go AWOL and fight the order known as Stop Loss.
Asked what would make sense for him to lead this group of guys is “because I’ve been around a little longer, I’m older and I’m a father, I think there are those aspects that I feel fraternal towards these guys. I support them, want to see them do well, know the enormous future ahead of him, can’t wait to see it happen. Think Joe Gordon Levitt is one of the best young actors out there. It’s like I am that way by my nature. I am not competitive and want to see the people I care about do as well as they possibly can. I think there is part of a leader of a squad that is like that. You want to protect, you have the fatherly instinct toward those guy and you want to help and see them ascend and achieve and I think that kind of made some sense. It was sort of a built in aspect to who I am that I guess could relate to Brandon.”
Yet at the same time, the actors says he is quite distinct from Brandon, the character he plays in the film. “I think he’s probably a guy who’s pretty confident in his abilities to kind of keep a level head through stress and that. I think he’s probably a better guy than me in terms of always doing the right thing, just very straightforward. I think all of that is compromised by the situation he finds himself in. I look less to what I relate to in a character, because then you kind of get into judgments. It’s kind of really just figuring out how this person would get through this situation.”
The actor also sees Brandon “as a guy who has always sort of known what is right and lived that way through most of his life. I think he is a very straightforward, decent, honest guy and through the events of this movie finds himself having to reconsider all those things about himself. I think that crisis of conscience and that soul-searching over what is duty and honor and weighing what is most important to you, I think his whole life everything is kind of black and white to him, you know? There’s a right way to do things and a wrong way.”
The actor also wrapped Franklyn which he describes “as a strange movie. It’s hard to describe. It’s essentially four different characters whose lives intersect in London. It’s with Eva Green and Sam Riley who’s really great. I play two characters and the majority of it takes place in a sort of alternate reality, but the whole movie isn’t set in the future.”