Abandoned home - Matt Damon in Ireland

Quarantined In Ireland, Matt Damon Spreads Good Cheer

Nine years ago, Matt Damon starred in the prescient thriller Contagion. Directed by Steven Soderbergh and featuring Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne, and Jude Law, among others, the film imagines a world in which a deadly virus emerges in Hong Kong and rapidly becomes a worldwide pandemic. One might say that morbid curiosity has caused a resurgence in the popularity of Contagion in recent months. In March it became one of the top rentals on iTunes.

Matt Damon in Ireland

When the coronavirus pandemic began to sweep through Europe in early March, Damon was filming an epic medieval drama entitled The Last Duel. Damon, Ben Affleck, and Nicole Holofcener wrote the film, which is set in 14th Century France. Ridley Scott is directing. Damon stars alongside Affleck, Adam Driver, and Jodie Comer. Production has since been suspended, and Damon has quarantined with his wife and three of his four children in Ireland. They have rented a home in an affluent seaside suburb of Dublin, called Dalkey.

In a recent videoconference with local radio station Spin 1038, the 49-year-old movie star talked about his love for Dalkey and his appreciation for its respectful and welcoming residents. Various members of the media have tried to reach Damon during lockdown, but the locals have been vigilant about protecting the megastar’s privacy. During the interview, Damon revealed that his college-aged daughter, who is in New York City, recently recovered from COVID-19. He also surprised a frontline nurse in Dublin who called into the show unaware that she would be meeting her celebrity hero-crush.

In mid-April Damon and Affleck promoted and participated in a charitable online poker tournament that raised $1.75 million for Feeding America. Adam Sandler, Tom Brady, Bryan Cranston, and Sarah Silverman also anted up.

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The day we met Matt Damon! . You may have seen this photo doing the rounds of late. Initially, we had no intention of sharing the photo but now that Matt’s been laughing and talking on the radio about it, I thought I'd tell you how I came to take this photo. We were out for a family swim and we bumped into Matt and his family. It was all very cool – no one else around…just his (and my family) enjoying the freezing cold water and having a laugh! As we were all leaving, he very politely obliged for a photo, leaning in with his @supervalu_irl bag keeping the social distance! . As he confirmed on the radio, he was holding a bag of swim gear and towels – not cans!! Both my husband and I agreed not to share the photo publicly but it got leaked through a family WhatsApp group a few days later and boom! it was then all over social media. We felt awful and really sorry about the whole situation; we wrote an apology letter to him but never got to deliver it. After hearing him on radio today, he obviously sees the funny side and the fact that the photo ultimately turned into one of the feelgood stories of the early summer. . While we never intended that the photo should leak anywhere, we were delighted that so many people – Matt included – got so much entertainment from the result. And the result? Irish people were delighted to welcome such a friendly and globally respected actor and activist to live amongst us while enjoying his privacy and one of the few good things that the virus has thrown up – precious and hassle-free time with his family in a country that respects and cherishes the important things in life. . Also, my daughters Ashleigh & Jessica @cookingwithjessica_ (aged 9 and 11) learnt a very valuable lesson. They now see how something private can so quickly go viral and spin out of control. . Anyhow, all’s well that ends well. . #mattdamon #cookingwithjessica #dalkey #lockdownlife

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