In March, the “Good Will Hunting” star touched down in Dalkey, Ireland, where he was slated to shoot scenes for Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel.” Filming was quickly halted, however, once the country began ordering residents to shelter in place to curb the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Damon ― whose primary residence is in Brooklyn, New York ― opted to remain in Ireland with his wife, Luciana Bozán Barroso, and daughters Isabella, 13, Gia, 11, and Stella, 9. According to The New York Times, locals have spotted the actor throughout Dalkey and neighboring Killiney over the past few weeks. Photos showing him out and about have also circulated on social media, though it’s unclear whether they predate the national lockdown.
Residents have also given given him a new moniker: “Matt O’Damon.”
As far as lockdown situations go, Damon’s is among the most enviable. Ireland had reported 18,184 COVID-19 cases and 1,014 deaths, as of Friday afternoon. By contrast, the actor’s home state of New York had reported more than 271,621 cases and 16,162 deaths.
Located some 12 miles southeast of Dublin, Dalkey is known for its majestic beaches and maritime history, and is sometimes nicknamed “Ireland’s Amalfi Coast.”
The Times piece is relatively short on testimonials, as many of those interviewed seemed protective of their world-famous neighbor.
“Dalkey is surrounded by the sea,” Cornelius Hibernis O’Flaherty said. “In these bright and sunny lockdown days with the air fresh and the birdsong everywhere, Matt and his family should be left alone to enjoy time out amidst the natural spring splendor.”
Added novelist Denise Deegan, “I think it’s an Irish thing. We don’t want anyone who is a celebrity to think that we are in any way sycophantic.”
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