Hollywood star Matt Damon found himself stranded in Ireland when the coronavirus crisis started but says he couldn’t be happier because he can’t think of a better place to be. The star of Good Will Hunting and the Talented Mr Ripley was in Dublin to film the new Ridley Scott movie, The Last Duel, when the country went into lockdown due to Covid-19.
Rather than race home, Damon decided to continue living in Ireland with his family and now he’s glad he did. He loves it. He said: “This is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been. I’m with my whole family, I’ve got my kids, and we have teachers with us because we were planning on missing school for about 8 weeks.
“So, we’ve got what nobody else has which is actual live human beings teaching our kids, the schools are all shut down back home and all the kids are doing remote learning. So, we feel guilty, we’ve got this kind of incredible set up in this place, it’s just absolutely gorgeous.”
The star is often seen around the Dalkey suburb where he now lives, or exercising on Killiney Hill nearby. Dalkey is a plush area of Dublin and home to several celebrities. Damon even seems a little starstruck.
“It’s insane. I thought it was incredible two months ago but now it’s starting blooming and it’s just incredible. It feels like a fairytale. When I first came in, people were saying well, ‘Bono lives over there, Enya lives over there’.
“I can’t think of any place else you’d rather want to be in a 2 kilometre radius of.”
Damon was speaking to Graham O’Toole and Nathan O’Reilly on Spin 103.8’s Fully Charged and revealed that his daughter was still living in the States and had contracted Covid-19 at the start of the outbreak. “Our oldest daughter is in college, obviously that’s been shut down. She’s in New York city and she had COVID really early on along with her roommates and got through it fine.
“So I shouldn’t say our whole family is together, of our 4 kids we’ve got the 3 younger ones and our oldest one, we’ll reunite with her at the end of the month. But everybody’s okay.”
“We’re going to go back to Los Angeles and she’s (his eldest daughter) going to come out so we’ll all be together and figure out what the heck we’re going to do. It’s such an odd limbo that we’re all in.”
Damon was full of praise for the way Ireland has handled the coronavirus outbreak, especially Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who’s is a qualified doctor. He decided to work one day a week at a hospital during the crisis. “You’ve got a president who just goes to the hospital and starts working, I mean what a badass, it’s just on another level.”
Filming on The Last Dual will resume once the crisis is over so it’s likely that Damon will be returning to Ireland in the not too distant future.
You can see his full interview here.