‘Big Sky’ Star Ryan Phillippe Talks ‘Defeating’ Feeling of Competing With Son in the Gym

by Taylor Cunningham

Big Sky star Ryan Phillippe is gracing the pages of Time’s Sexist Man Alive issue this year. And the actor credits his 18-year-old son for keeping his Svelte.

Time Magazine named Ryan Phillippe one of the sexiest men in the world, and most people would agree. But according to the 47-year-old actor, it takes a lot more effort for him to stay fit these days.

“It’s like the law of diminishing returns, right?” he told PEOPLE “You’ve got to work harder in the gym for fewer results.”

So to keep him on his game, Ryan relies on a special workout partner, his son, Deacon. Most days, the two like to go on strenuous hikes in their hometown of LA or meet at the gym to hit the weights.

“He’s like my best friend,” Ryan shared.

But watching the 18-year-old, who he shares with ex-wife Reese Witherspoon, makes Ryan realize that his own teenage years are long gone.

“We’ll do the same workout, and the way he looks after compared to the way I look is really defeating,” he laughed.

Ryan also has two other children with Witherspoon, Ava, 22, and Kai, 10. The actor added that the three kids are his biggest blessings in life, and being a role model for them is his number one priority.

“They’re very self-possessed, conscientious people who care about the world, who treat people with respect and take care of themselves,” he gushed. “I think that’s also something that you model as a parent.”

Ryan Phillippe of ‘Big Sky’ Says Working Out Helps his Mental Health

While the Cruel Intentions star doesn’t actually mind being defeated by his son at the gym, he does feel a lot of pressure to stay youthful in Hollywood. And he admits that unrealistic industry standards cause him a lot of anxiety.

“I don’t like aging. When I see the signs of aging, which is every day, it drives me insane,” he admitted. “But there’s nothing you can do, really. You can’t prolong the inevitable. We’re all going to age, if we’re lucky enough, to last into our old age.”

So Ryan’s quest to be in his best shape ever isn’t just about looking good, it’s about feeling good too. Every morning, Ryan wakes up bright and early so he can get an “incredibly intense” hike in before he starts his day. Ryan says that the endorphins help keep him grounded and happy.

“It’s exhausting,” Ryan said. “You sweat so hard and it changes your body chemistry, literally. It’s a run, hike, and climb. When I finish that, I feel clearer. I feel less down. It gets me out of my head a little.”