What Ryan Phillippe's Relationship With His Daughter Ava Is Really Like

Ryan Phillippe's life changed forever on September 9, 1999, when he and his then-wife Reese Witherspoon welcomed a baby girl, Ava Phillippe. "I made it to my then-wife's bedside [from The Way of the Gun set] with two hours to spare before my baby girl first entered the world. Fifteen years ago, I learned what love truly is," Phillippe recalled in 2014 about the once-in-a-lifetime moment, according to the Daily Mail

While the couple went on to welcome another child in 2003, a son named Deacon Phillippe, Ryan and Witherspoon's marriage didn't last. In 2006, the couple revealed they were calling it quits. But make no mistake. The estranged spouses still worked together to foster a great co-parenting relationship for the sake of their children. "They remain committed to their family and we ask that you please respect their privacy and the safety of their children at this time," a spokesperson said. 

Committed, indeed! In 2021, Phillippe opened up to Forbes about his co-parenting journey with Witherspoon. "The root of it is communication and to make sure that even once you're no longer together, you cooperate to put the kids and their needs and their well-being first," he explained. "I think that's something that she and I have always done very well. We've raised two really incredible human beings." But, just how close are Ryan and Ava today? And what is their father-daughter relationship really like? Here's everything we know about the famous daddy-daughter duo!

Ryan Phillippe says Ava Phillipe has his personality

The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, indeed.

While Ryan Phillippe's son Deacon is notorious for being his doppelgänger, he is adamant that he and his daughter Ava share many similarities, too — namely, when it comes to their character and temperament. "Ava is very much my personality," he gushed to People in 2021. Still, Ava is adamant she is her own person. "My parents have always encouraged me to choose the path that's right for me and, you know, guide me along the way to make better choices than I might make," she told E! News in 2021. "I'm so grateful for that. That is such a privilege to have parents that support you in that way and to want you to be who you truly are meant to be. So I think I'm trying to do that," she declared. 

Ava Phillippe doesn't follow her dad on Instagram

No follow for follow?

It's often been rumored that Ryan Phillippe and daughter Ava Phillippe's relationship might be strained. Case in point: Ava doesn't follow her famous father back on Instagram. And while that might not be a massive deal in the grand scheme of things, she does follow her A-list actor mama, Reese Witherspoon. But does this actually spell trouble for Ryan and Ava? Maybe not. In 2017, the proud papa wished his daughter a happy birthday on — you guessed it — Instagram. "Happy birthday, punk. I love you more than any strangers need read, but..." he penned, along with several photos of him and Ava. Perhaps all is well after all. 

Speaking of Instagram, however, it appears that Ryan has a love-hate relationship with social media entirely. When asked about advice he had for young actors, he noted how its presence had changed the landscape for budding thespians. "It's so different with social media and all of the things, good and bad," he told Forbes. "That can really break careers and it can also really make careers, so they deal with a whole host of new challenges in that regard than we did coming up. I think that focusing on the work and being true to who you are, is always going to serve you in the long run."

Ava Phillippe is repulsed when people mistake her dad for her brother

Ryan Phillippe and daughter Ava Phillippe definitely share DNA, but don't get it twisted — they are NOT brother and sister!

It's no secret that Ryan prides himself on his youthful appearance. "I still think of myself as relatively young and I still look relatively young but I am not, clearly," he quipped during an interview with Forbes. Alas, his dearest daughter Ava is not as enthused about her dad passing for someone even remotely close to her age. In 2015, Ryan confessed to Variety that he still gets carded. "My daughter hates it, because sometimes people have thought I'm her brother, and she's freaked out by that," he added. Later, however, Ryan revealed Ava was more than just a little freaked out by the notion that someone could mistake her dad for her brother — she was downright disgusted by it. 

"I know my daughter gets embarrassed by the fact that I do look so young, and I get mistaken for her brother at times which repulses her, he dished to comedian and television host James Corden during an appearance on "The Late Late Show." He added, "It absolutely repulses her that anyone could mistake me for being her brother." So uh, yeah. Don't make that mistake — at least not in front of Ava. You've been warned.