Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon’s eldest child, Ava Phillippe, has recently started to break away from being a minor add-on to press coverage of her famous parents by making some headlines all of her own. The aspiring model has already wowed us with her resemblance to her stunning family, while her social activism has shown a maturity beyond her 19 years. She may still be in the depths of a college course, but with a lineage like hers, it’s surely only a matter of time before we start to see (and hear) as much about the daughter as we do about the parents. Prepare yourself now with these 10 fast facts about the up-and-coming star.
1. She’s a carbon copy of her dad
Ava may have the same blue eyes, heart- shaped face and luxurious blonde mane as her mom, Reese Witherspoon, but pop a photo of dad Ryan Phillippe next to his daughter, and you’d struggle to spot the difference. Despite her parents getting divorced all the way back in 2007 when she was just 7 years old, Ava remains close to her famous dad. On Father’s Day, she proved her loyalty by posting the sweet Instagram message: “You’ve always loved and supported me in whatever weirdness that comes. I love you tons.”
2. She was named after a Hollywood legend
With two film stars for parents, we all know Phillippe has Hollywood in her blood. What some may not know is that she’s also got it in her name. The young starlet was named in memory of silver screen legend, Ava Gardner. The choice apparently came from mom, Reese, who explained the reason for her selection to Jay Leno:- “My daughter’s name is Ava… to me she was the only woman who could break Sinatra. So the idea of that name to me is very classy.”
3.She has 3 younger siblings
Children of divorcees often have the benefit of a large group of siblings (whether half or step) and in Ava’s case, that’s certainly true. The eldest daughter of Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe was born 9 September 1999. After enjoying single child status for the first few years of her life, Ava has since been joined by several new additions to the family: her brother, Deacon Phillippe, was born 23 October 2003; her stepbrother, Tennessee Toth was born 27 September 2012; and her stepsister Kailani Merizalde was born 1 July 2011. Phillippe shares the same mother and father as Deacon, the same mother as Tennessee, and the same father as Kailani.
4. She’s a talented artist
Ava is as skilled with a paintbrush as her mom is with a film script. The talented youngster regularly takes to Instagram to post pictures of her latest artistic endeavors. As well as being a dab hand with the paintbrush, she’s also a skilled photographer, sculptor and sketcher.
5. She’s a model
Having 2 parents as renowned for their looks as they are for their talents could be hard on your average teen, but Ava has no such worries. The up-and -coming star has clearly inherited the best of both sides of the parental gene pool- something that became painfully obvious to us mere mortals when she was chosen to model alongside Marvel’s Danai Gurira and Tessa Thompson in Rodarte‘s Fall 2018 collection lookbook.
6. She’s the face of Draper Jones
After getting her start in the modelling business with Rodarte’s Fall lookbook, Ava took further strides in the industry (and proved good ol’ nepotism is going as strong as ever) when she became the face of her mother’s fashion and lifestyle brand, Draper Jones. The young star has clearly been inspired by her mom, both in fashion and beyond. “The best thing about how my mom has influenced my style is that, while I do take her advice, it’s still my own,” she’s explained. “We have different taste, and she’s really respectful of my personality as I express it through clothes.”
7. She’s socially active
Idleness and apathy may be the go-to traits for a lot of teens, but not for Ava. The starlet’s famous parents have clearly given their daughter a voice, and it’s one she fully intends to use. At only 19, Ava is already a card-carrying member of the do-gooding Hollywood elite. As well as joining her mom in lending support to the #MeToo and Time’s Up female empowerment movements, Ava has showcased her activist credentials by piping up about the mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017. The horrified Ava took to Instagram to vent: “ I strongly believe that we need to talk more about how guns and a lack of mental healthcare accessibility factor into these tragedies.”
8. She choose her mother’s wedding dress
When Reese Witherspoon married partner Jim Toth in 2011, Ava played an integral role in one of the most important details of the ceremony: the wedding dress. Reese revealed her daughter’s involvement in the decision-making process during an interview with Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan on Live with Regis & Kelly: “My daughter helped pick out my dress. She was my maid of honor.” Ava’s part in the wedding didn’t stop at the dress: both she and her brother Deacon were allowed to do what few kids get too, by tagging along on their mother’s honeymoon.
9. She might (possibly) make an appearance on Big Little Lies
Ava and Reese both stunned their fans when they appeared arm-in-arm at the recent premier of the 2nd season of Reese’s hit TV show, Big Little Lies. Given how quickly Ava’s star is growing, it was natural for reporters to question Reese on whether we may soon see the mother-daughter duo share some screen time. Reese was reluctant to commit to a definite “yes”, but reading between the lines, there may be some hope: “I don’t know [if it could happen],” she said. “I never say never. You don’t know.”
10. She’s her mother’s biggest supporter
There’s no denying the mother- daughter bond between Reese and Ava. The two are clearly best friends and each other’s biggest supporters… at least if their frequent gushing on Instagram is anything to go by. On Mother’s Day, Ava took to social media to give her mom the big thumps up. “Happy mother’s day to my built-in best friend,” she wrote. “Your drive to pursue your passions, your curiosity and willingness to learn, your care and compassion for others, and your strength to fight for what and who you care about all make me immensely proud to be your daughter. Love you always.” The feelings are clearly mutual, with Reese responding to her daughter with the slightly less extensive but no less heartfelt message “Well… now I’m crying. I love you. What a gift to be your mom.”