By Alexandra Whittaker
Updated Jul 12, 2017 @ 5:15 pm

When Ryan Phillippe was cast as a dad in the movie Wish Upon, he didn't have to look far for help getting into character.

His 17-year-old daughter Ava unintentionally trained him well for the part.

“Joey King, who plays my daughter [in Wish Upon], is the same age as my daughter in real life,” Phillippe told People. “So she and I could connect very easily because I obviously understand teenage girls.”

Ryan, Ava Phillippe
Credit: Getty

Ava is Phillippe's daughter from his marriage to ex-wife Reese Witherspoon. They also have a 13-year-old son Deacon, and Phillippe has a 6-year-old daughter Kailani Merizalde with his ex Alexis Knapp.

“The real-life experience I have does allow for a lot more natural attachment to the role,” the father of three said.

VIDEO: Reese Witherspoon & Daughter Ava Phillippe Look the Same in Pre-Premiere Photo

When he isn't filming movies, Phillippe slips right back into that dad role—only in real life this time.

“Usually, a great day off involves doing something fun with my son," he said. "I think we are going to go off-roading this weekend. That is something we are getting into. Whatever takes me out of the job and gives me some relief."