Ryan Phillippe sheds pretty boy image

Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:15pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Kathy A. McDonald

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Ryan Phillippe gained Hollywood fame and won fans with his piercing blue eyes and good looks in the 1990s, but the actor says he has never been interested in being just another pretty face in the movies.

So in recent years Phillippe, 33, has focused on gritty roles in films whose stories are rooted in real-life, such as Iraq war tale "Stop-Loss" which lands in theaters on Friday.

"Stop-Loss," written and directed by Kimberly Peirce, stars Phillippe as a soldier returning from war overseas and follows his recent dramatic turns in Clint Eastwood's World War II tale "Flags of Our Fathers" and best film Oscar winner "Crash," about race relations.

As he looks to the future, Phillippe said he wants to explore more quirky and offbeat roles.

"I'm looking now to go into a more character-based direction that is maybe not as straightforward as some of the stuff I've done recently," the actor told Reuters. "Right now I'm more interested in getting a little wild."

Peirce's first film, "Boys Don't Cry," about a transgendered character, was a box office and critical hit for a low-budget film and garnered Hilary Swank a best actress Oscar.

In "Stop-Loss," Phillippe portrays Brandon King, an army sergeant who comes home to a welcoming parade only to find himself stop-lossed -- ordered to return to duty even after his volunteer contract ended.

His dilemma raises numerous conflicts for Phillippe's character and his fellow soldiers, played by Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as well as the women they come home to.   Continued...

<p>Ryan Phillippe, star of the film "Stop-Loss", poses as he arrives at the film's premiere in Hollywood, California March 17, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>