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Ryan Phillippe talks about ‘Lady of the Manor’ comedy film, the digital age, and success

World-renowned actor Ryan Phillippe chatted with Digital Journal’s Markos Papadatos about the comedy film “Lady of the Manor,” which was written and directed by brothers Justin and Christian Long, and released via Lionsgate. He also shared the best advice that he was ever given and he opened up about what’s it like to be an actor in the digital age.

Ryan Phillippe as Tanner Wadsworth in the comedy film 'Lady of the Manor'
Ryan Phillippe as Tanner Wadsworth in the comedy film 'Lady of the Manor.' Photo Courtesy of Lionsgate
Ryan Phillippe as Tanner Wadsworth in the comedy film 'Lady of the Manor.' Photo Courtesy of Lionsgate

World-renowned actor Ryan Phillippe chatted with Digital Journal’s Markos Papadatos about the comedy film “Lady of the Manor,” which was written and directed by brothers Justin and Christian Long, and released via Lionsgate. He also shared the best advice that he was ever given and he opened up about what’s it like to be an actor in the digital age.

American track and field legend Steve Prefontaine once said: “To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.” An individual who embodies this quotation in every aspect of his life is actor Ryan Phillippe.

The synopsis of “Lady of the Manor” is as follows: Past and present collide in this supernaturally funny buddy comedy when stoner-slacker Hannah (Melanie Lynskey) is hired to portray Lady Wadsworth (Judy Greer), a Southern belle who died in 1875, in a tour at the historic estate of Wadsworth Manor.

Hannah, who is a hot mess, figures that she can fake it until the ghost of Lady Wadsworth appears! Lady Wadsworth tells Hannah it’s time to change her wild ways or she will haunt her until she does.

Working with filmmakers Justin and Christian Long

Phillippe plays the role of Tanner Wadsworth in the movie, and he had great words about working with filmmakers Justin and Christian Long. “It was a really good time,” he admitted. “I’ve known Justin Long for many years and we grew up in this industry together. We’ve always been friendly and he told me that he and Christian would co-direct a comedy and they asked me to take a look.”

“I read the script and I laughed the entire time, and I think that is always the best test,” he added. “With this character, I saw the opportunity to have a lot of fun and to play something so different from myself. I immediately had all these ideas about how he should look, and I wanted to wear a lot of pastels and bright colors.”

“This was the last project pre-COVID that any of us did,” he said. “It was a good group of people. That’s the best that you can ask for: to have a good time around people you like.”

The film is in select theaters, On Demand, and digital starting today, September 17.

“Lady of the Manor” earned a favorable review from Digital Journal, and rightfully so.

The digital age

On being an actor in the digital age, Phillippe remarked, “It has definitely fundamentally changed everything. Every industry goes through those transitions and evolutions so you have to find your way within it. There are elements of if that are frustrating. I did use to love when everybody watched the same thing at the same time, and it was a collective experience in society, and that has been lost a little bit.”

“Now, people can binge an entire series in a weekend, or somebody might not see it for a year,” he said. “That’s just the way that we consume entertainment now, and there is an acceptance that you need to have of that.”

“Being a slightly older actor now, the focus is somewhat different. The younger people are dealing with the social media of it all, and how much that factors into their careers,” he added.

“I just had a birthday, and I can’t believe how old I am, and I can’t believe how old my kids are,” he said yet he was reassured by this journalist that age is just a number. “I definitely don’t feel like a young man anymore,” he admitted.

Career-defining moments

On his career-defining moments, he said, “Being a father these last 22 years has certainly defined me. It changes everything and it becomes the most rewarding and valuable part of who you are. That’s certainly the most major defining moment for me.”

“Also, I still feel like I am growing and learning, and that’s a nice thing, even at this age,” he said. “Feeling like there are things left to be experienced and things that I am curious about, and things that I want to learn about. I hope that is something that continues for the rest of my life. I never want to feel like I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve done it all or I’ve learned it all because I think there is so much out there.”

Motivations as an actor

On his daily motivations as an actor, he said, “I am motivated by different things at different times. As you get older, it becomes more about the experience, and the time that you are going to have, and the people that you are going to be around. I make a lot of my decisions based on those factors.”

“Really, it comes down to the story that you are telling and hoping that the audience has a good experience. I try to give the best effort that I can regardless of the project,” he added.

On the title of the current chapter of his life, Phillippe said with a sweet laugh, “Making peace with aging.”

Advice for hopefuls in the acting world

For young and aspiring actors, he said, “Challenge yourself in whatever ways the industry allows you to get the most out of your experience. Also, stay true to who you are as an individual. It is such a different world now in so many ways.”

“It’s a tough industry, there are a lot of ups and downs, and many rejections. You just need to believe in yourself and stay true to who you are,” he said.

Phillippe also shared the best advice that he was ever given. “I worked with Jeff Bridges in one of my first jobs and I remember him telling me that ‘we have no control over what happens to the movie once we finish our part in it,’ and that it can succeed and do well in the box office or it can do terribly but if you have a good time and your heart is in the right place, you will appreciate the journey.”

“I learned that one shouldn’t be so focused on the results. That is something that I will also say to young and aspiring actors. They should appreciate the journey because you can’t predict the results. Whether something succeeds or fails won’t matter as much if you know that you did it for the right reason, and you had a good time,” he elaborated.

Success

Phillippe defined the word success as “being able to feel good about who you are, and what you’ve spent your time on. We all have only a finite amount of time. A successful person is one who feels like they’ve spent their life with intention and it as well-spent and not wasted.”

For his fans, he concluded about “Lady of the Manor,” “I want them to have a good time. I think the world we live in now is really stressful and is a lot more complicated than it was before all of this happened. I hope that this movie offers a little bit of a break and respite from the stresses and the pressures that we all face. It is so funny, well-written, and I just hope people have a good time.”

To learn more about internationally recognized actor Ryan Phillippe, follow him on Instagram and on Twitter.

Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 16,000 original articles over the past 15 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a five-time consecutive "Best of Long Island" winner, and in the past two years, he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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