Ryan Phillippe fought on Iwo Jima in "Flags of Our Fathers." Now he's an Iraq war hero in "Stop Loss," fighting a battle against returning for another tour of duty. Ryan told Parade, "We're caught up in the politics of the war, but I began to understand that when you're a soldier the reality is to stay alive." Phillippe hopes the provocative "Stop Loss" will "push a lot of buttons and make people think."
"I don't want to sit in a movie and have a benign experience." Phillippe adds, "I've got other things to do with my time. I'd rather spend time with my kids or play cards or something. I love the idea of using your work to influence or to create a dialogue of some sort about what's happening in the world like the war in Iraq."
Phillippe reveals that a veteran of another war has been a big influence on him. "My grandfather was a World War II veteran," he says. "He received commendations for fighting in Germany. He was a guy who grew up poor, had a pair of shoes to share between him and his brothers, went off, fought in the war and came back, battled alcoholism his entire life, got turned around and cleaned up and became a deacon in his church. He was a man who just overcame a ton of adversity and was my idol. He inspired me as a youth and even to this day. It was the way he lived, looking problems in the eye and looking at some of the ugliness and mistakes that you've made and overcoming them. Finding a way to get your life on track."
As for getting his own life back on track since his divorce from Reese Witherspoon, Phillip admits it hasn't been easy. "There's a great poem by Dylan Thomas that talks about 'rage against the dying of the light,'" he says. "You gotta stay strong, you have to fight and be there for your children, and I think that's the best way to handle it."
Just like the energizer bunny, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones keep going and going. And the proof is in "Shine a Light," a documentary following them on tour. Jagger told Parade, "My thing is to constantly move forward. I'm not a looking back person." Mick who is almost sixty-five admits he doesn't party before a concert, but he adds with that Jagger grin, "Afterwards, I allow for partying."
Thinking back, Jagger has to pause when asked which of the enormously popular catalogue of songs he's written and performed are number one on his own list. "It's a valid question," he says. "If you're singing in a band you don't really think about that. I'm not the sort of person who goes around thinking about being proud of things. That's for someone else to analyze. As I said, I think my role is to move forward."
So what does Jagger do in his spare time. "I like to be creative," he reveals. "I enjoyed doing a lot of things on 'Shine a Light,' mixing the sound and reviewing all the edits. I like to write. And I've got a lot of children I have to take care of. I have a very full life but it's quite ordinary in a lot of ways. I'll tell you one thing, I don't really get bored."
Jagger flashes a mischievous grin as he remembers where it all began. "I had just turned 20 when I first started performing," he says. "There weren't any career paths for English rock bands in those days. I had no idea what kind of a big career was in front of me."