Watch: Ryan Philippe Was 'Shunned' by Parents Over Early Gay Role

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday November 23, 2020

Ryan Phillippe
Ryan Phillippe  (Source:Instagram / @ryanphillippe)

Ryan Phillippe looking back at his teenage stint playing a gay character on a soap opera and his breakout movie "Cruel Intentions," revealed that his parents "shunned" him out of disapproval of an early gay role.

The 46-year-old actor made the revelations on the KFC Radio Podcast in an episode released Nov. 17.

Asked about his role in "Cruel Intentions," a sexy modern teen version of "Dangerous Liaisons" in which he starred in at age 23, and which featured a sizzling nude pool scene, Phillippe told the podcast's hosts that "I thought my parents were gonna disown me" for having taken the role.

"I'd grown up going to, like Baptist school," Phillippe said, before explaining that his parents were already unhappy with his career choices. "My first role ever, coming out of the Christian school when I was a senior in high school, I played the first gay character on a soap opera, the first gay teenager, and so I was shunned at that point."

That role was as Billy Douglas on "One Life to Live," which Phillippe portrayed in 1992 and 1993.

Asked if he seriously meant what he said about being "shunned," Phillippe affirmed, "Kind of, yeah. I mean, this was 1992, and I was playing a gay teenager, and I was in a Christian school. They weren't happy about it."

Phillippe went on to say he'd happily take another role reminiscent of Sebastian Valmont, his sexually immoral "Cruel Intentions" character. "It was just so fun to be so flippant and sort of theatrical," Phillippe recalled.

The conversation turned to celebrities baring it all for their OnlyFans subscribers, prompting Phillippe to note that when he was a younger actor, "you ran from the paparazzi - you tried to live as clandestine or private as you possibly could."

Watch the KFC Radio clip below.


Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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