Ryan Phillippe thinks his children would have been "assholes" if they had had nannies.

The 'Lincoln Lawyer' actor - who has daughter Ava, 11, and seven-year-old son Deacon with ex-wife Reese Witherspoon - is "proud" of how grounded his kids are and thinks things would have been different if they hadn't had such hands-on parents when they were younger.

He said: "I imagine it would have been more difficult if we weren't as hands-on as we were or allowed them to be raised by nannies - I think then they would become assholes.

"But you're constantly educating them - we have two incredible little people that we've raised. I'm proud of us for that fact."

Ryan - who may be about to become a father for the third time as former lover Alexis Knapp claims she is carrying his child - is particularly delighted with the way his kids have grown up to feel fortunate about their wealth and always try and think of others.

He said: "I grew up pretty humbly and my parents struggled to pay the bills. The life my children are living is completely different so I try to pass onto them the notion of how fortunate they are.

"But one of the most rewarding things is when they come up with something themselves - my son the other day wanted to donate his piggy bank, which was a couple of hundred dollars in coins, and my daughter had an assignment where she wrote an incredibly eloquent, well thought out speech about clean water for Africa and she gave it in front of the whole school. Reese and I showed up and we both had tears coming down."