FayesVision / WENN 1 / 7
FayesVision / WENN 1 / 7

Ryan Phillippe can connect with a quietly tortured character.

The "Secrets and Lies" star opened up to Elle about how battling depression has affected him and those around him.

"You know, depression has been a huge obstacle for me ever since I was a child. As you get older I think it decreases some, but I'm just innately kind of a sad person," he said. "I'm empathetic, and I take on the feelings of others and transpose myself into the position of others. I see it in my daughter."

Phillippe, 40, shares daughter Ava, 15, with actress Reese Witherspoon, and he told the mag that Ava too has depression.

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"She has it, and I wish to hell she didn't. It's just, some people do have this pervading sort of sadness, or they're so analytical that they can kind of take the fun out of things because they think too much," he explained.

The depression has not ruined his sense of humor though. When asked about that famous "Girls" episode where they debate how to pronounce his last name, he says he "loved it so much."

In fact, he even talked about it with theĀ show's creator.

"And then, a couple nights later, I was at the Howard Stern birthday party, and Lena Dunham was at my table, and she asked me if I was upset about it," he said. "I was like, 'What are you talking about? That's the coolest thing.' I'm a big supporter."