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With his sad split behind him, Ryan Phillippe plans to take a ‘good long break’ from acting
After working on three films in the past year and a half, Ryan Phillippe says he wants to take time off and focus on something far more important. The actor, 32, announced at a Feb. 3 press conference for his upcoming film Breach that he’s “going to take a good long break” and focus on daughter Ava, 7, and son Deacon, 3. “[Being] a dad, that’s No. 1 on my mind right now.” Ironically, just as his personal life hit the skids—Phillippe and his wife of seven years, actress Reese Witherspoon, 30, announced three months ago they were splitting—his career took a great leap forward (most notably with his role in the acclaimed Flags of Our Fathers). “The opportunities I’ve had recently have been the best of my career,” he says. “[But] it’s the last thing on my mind right now, considering what I’m going through in my personal life.” While the details of their divorce have yet to be finalized, both actors do come together for their kids—recently at Ava’s school play—and have kept a relatively low social profile. Witherspoon, who has been filming the thriller Rendition, appeared solo on the red carpet at both the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Meanwhile, Phillippe has been hanging out with guy friends like Breckin Meyer. (Despite a Feb. 5 sighting of Phillippe with Thirteen star Nikki Reed at the West Hollywood nightclub Winston’s, a source says they are just friends. A fellow clubgoer adds, “He talked to a lot of people [that night]—both men and women.”) Most importantly, “[Reese and I] both love [our kids] so much,” he said in a Feb. 6 interview with Extra, “and they’re doing amazingly well.”
Kylie Minogue & Olivier Martinez
That didn’t take long. Five days after a British tabloid accused Martinez of entertaining other women in his hotel, the actor’s relationship with Minogue is officially kaput. They call the split “mutual and amicable.”
Kerry Washington & David Moscow
The Ray star and her actor fiancé—who met in high school—have broken up after more than four years together. A source close to the pair tells Scoop, “They are both extremely upset.”
Kirsten Dunst & Andy Samberg
Is Dunst up to some funny business with the SNL star? They were “all over each other” at NYC’s 205 club Feb. 1, says a witness. Dunst’s rep called reports of romance “greatly exaggerated.”
Alanis Morissette & Ryan Reynolds
Bring on the angst rock: Morissette and her fiancé have called it quits after nearly five years together. (They took a brief hiatus last June.) “[We] have the utmost love and admiration for each other,” they said in a joint statement.
HOT GUY, SMART CAR
George Clooney‘s got big, er, little plans for his next European vacation: zipping around Italy—sans gas-station stops—in his lithium-battery-powered Smart Car. (Until now the model has only been available to NASA and the military.) Call it an eco-friendly Batmobile.
SMART CAR STATS
Mileage: 120 to 150 miles on a single charge
Cost per charge: $2.10
More info: http://www.hybridtechnologies.com
If Prince William does propose to Kate Middleton, she shouldn’t have to struggle for words. Years ago, as a star of the school play at England’s St. Andrews prep, 13-year-old Middleton—described by a classmate as “quite reserved”—accepted her beau with “Yes, it’s all I’ve ever longed for. Yes, oh, yes, dear William!”
SCOOP ASKED, YOU ANSWERED
35% SO HOT
65% SO NOT
YOUR DREAM VALENTINE:
31% JAKE GYLLENHAAL
THE COUCH AND A BOX OF CHOCOLATES 31%
THE AMERICAN IDOL AUDITIONS:
15% BETTER THAN EVER!
85% IT WAS JUST ALRIGHT FOR ME, DAWG
HAVE YOU FORGIVEN ISAIAH WASHINGTON?
54% YES—HE DESERVES ANOTHER CHANCE
46% NO WAY—HE’S A BIGOT
BRITNEY SPEARS: BETTER …
WHO’S THE CUTER COUPLE:
24% JESSICA SIMPSON & JOHN MAYER
VOTE ON NEXT WEEK’S QUESTIONS AT WWW.PEOPLE.COM/POLLS
IT’S ELLEN—GONE SUPERGLAM FOR W!
What’s Ellen DeGeneres not headlining these days? There’s her namesake hit show on NBC, her upcoming gig hosting the Oscars and, on Feb. 23, she’s on the cover of the March W, where she gets a dramatic makeover (see left) and opens up about life and work.
ON NOT WEARING A DRESS FOR THE SHOOT
[I know W] is a fashion magazine. For me to even be asked to be on the cover, it’s huge…. I thought, okay, I’ll be open to this. I’ll play dress-up. Then I thought, I just don’t feel comfortable. I don’t want to apologize for who I am.
WHAT ABOUT ME?
Whenever [girlfriend Portia de Rossi, inset] and I are on the red carpet, they’re yelling out for her to tell them what she’s wearing. Because I have a suit on … nobody cares. It’s frustrating … I put effort into getting ready too!
ON COMING OUT
It was the only thing I could do. And then I got punished for it [by losing my sitcom]. I was so angry.
BUMPS ALONG THE WAY
My girlfriend was killed in a car accident when I was 21. We’d had a fight…. I felt how fragile life is…. That’s why I wrote [my first comedy piece] “A Phone Call to God.”
DE ROSSI CLAIMS THAT “ELLEN WOULD CARRY” THEIR BABIES
That would never happen!
THEY’VE GOT LEGS
One new fashion trend—tights paired with a short top (or, in the case of Sienna Miller, supershort)—might be described as international. We, for example, see London, and we see France
Q + A
The Piano Man opens up about the love song he wrote for his wife—the first pop song he’s written since 1993
Hear the song exclusively on People.com; go to PEOPLE.COM/BILLYJOEL and send it to your Valentine.
In 2005, Billy Joel, 57, penned “All My Life” for his wife, Katie Lee Joel, 25, to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. Now, just in time for Valentine’s Day, he’s making the ballad available on People.com. The singer talked to Scoop about romance, family and … Frank Sinatra?
Did you ever plan to release this song to the public?
No, I just did this for Katie. I thought it would be a great song for Tony Bennett. It’s not a typical “Billy Joel song.”
So how did you switch gears and pull off the big-band sound?
I recorded it with a full orchestra. And I dressed like Frank Sinatra—black suit, skinny tie, hat with a narrow brim. The outfit put me in the mood.
What makes a good love song?
It can’t be all hearts and flowers. There has to be pain. I have regrets in my life. Anyone who says they don’t have regrets hasn’t really lived.
Your daughter Alexa Ray is an up-and-coming singer. What’s it like having her follow your lead?
I get a little nervous right before a show. Then she hits the first notes and I think, what was I worried about? She’s a natural.
How’s your ex, Christie Brinkley, doing since her split?
We talk on a regular basis—more frequently in the last few months. I want to know she’s all right. She’s got a lot on her plate.
What would you do on your ideal Valentine’s Day?
I don’t think I can explain that in PEOPLE magazine!
BILLY’S TOP 5 LOVE SONGS
ONE FOR MY BABY
SYMPHONY NO. 6
Ludwig van Beethoven
IN MY LIFE
LAY LADY LAY
WHOLE LOTTA LOVE