In Brief

Matt Damon adopted by village in ‘fairytale’ Irish lockdown

Hollywood A-lister describes his love affair with Dalkey after calling in to local radio station

Matt Damon has described his delight at being adopted by the people of a “fairytale” Irish village after taking up residence during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Hollywood actor has “gone native” in Dalkey, a seaside resort southeast of Dublin, after arriving in March with his wife and their three youngest children to film historical thriller The Last Duel, directed by Ridley Scott, says The Guardian.

Locals have taken Damon under their wing after he decided to stay despite production being suspended, rallying against outsiders asking questions about their A-list guest and dubbing him “Matt O’Damon”, adds The New York Times.

In fact, most residents have pretended not to recognise the Oscar winner. “I think it’s an Irish thing,” local novelist Denise Deegan told the US newspaper. “We don’t want anyone who is a celebrity to think that we are in any way sycophantic.”

But Damon has been less shy, phoning in to a Dublin radio station this week after hearing presenters Graham O'Toole and Nathan O’Reilly appealing for him to join them on air, says the BBC.

Describing his new Irish life to the Spin 1038 DJs, Damon says: “It feels like a fairytale. When I first came in, people were saying: ‘Well, Bono lives over there, Enya lives over there.’ It’s been incredible. This is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been.”

The actor - reportedly living in Formula 1 star Eddie Irvine’s house - added that he had been having FaceTime chats with Bono, who lives nearby, and that the U2 frontman had mentioned the radio station’s interview plea.

Damon also told the DJs that he was a “little worried” about returning to the US because “we don’t have adequate [Covid-19] testing”.

“Obviously what’s going on in the world is horrible, but I’ve got my whole family, I’m with my kids and we have teachers with us because we were planning on missing school for about eight weeks,” he continued.

Damon said that he and his wife, Argentinian-born Luciana Barroso, felt “guilty” after having “what nobody else has, which is live human beings teaching our kids... We’ve got this set-up in this incredible place. It’s absolutely gorgeous.

“Even in the 2km lockdown, we’ve got trees and woods and ocean. I can’t think of any place you’d rather be in a 2km radius of.”

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