Hollywood star Matt Damon has described living in Ireland as being in a “fairy tale”, while also praising the Irish premier for his work on the frontline.
The actor and his family are in lockdown in Dublin where he had been filming the movie The Last Duel with director Ridley Scott, before it was shut down in early March and travel restrictions were put in place worldwide.
In an interview with local radio station Spin 1038, the Bourne Identity star also revealed that his eldest daughter, Alexia, was diagnosed with Covid-19 while at college in New York.
He said she contracted the virus with her roommates, but added that she “got through it fine”.
Damon is with his wife, Luciana Barroso, and three of their four children in the affluent Dalkey area where a number of stars, including Bono, have homes.
Describing lockdown life in Dublin, the actor said: “It’s incredible. This is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been.
“Obviously what’s going on in the world is horrible, but I’m with my whole family, I’ve got my kids.
“We have teachers with us because we were planning on missing school for about eight weeks, so we’ve got what nobody else has, which is actual live human beings teaching our kids.
“All the schools are all shut down back home and all the kids are doing remote learning, and so we feel guilty we’ve got this kind of incredible setup in this place, which is just absolutely gorgeous.
“Even in the lockdown, they’re like, ‘you got to stay within two kilometres of your house’. Two kilometres here, there’s trees and forests and woods and ocean and I can’t think of any place you’d rather want to be in a two-kilometre radius of.
“It feels a bit, you know, like a fairy tale here.”
He also revealed he recently FaceTimed U2 frontman Bono, who told him of Fully Charged radio presenters Graham O’Toole and Nathan O’Reilly’s efforts to track down the actor and speak to him.
A picture of Matt holding a Supervalu bag at The Forty Foot – a historic bathing pool – went viral last month after social media users tried to guess what was inside.
Damon revealed on Wednesday that he had been carrying beach towels.
“I was with the kids we were taking a dip in water there, and so we had towels to dry off with, so I think we just grabbed one of our Supervalu bags and stuffed it. We were just improvising,” the Good Will Hunting star said.
“I’m sure there were cans in there – we just had to take them out to put in the beach towels.”
He also praised Irish premier Leo Varadkar, who is a qualified medical doctor, after he rejoined the medical register and is working one day a week for the Health Service Executive (HSE).
Damon said: “You’ve got a (Taoiseach) who just goes to the hospital and starts working – I mean, what a bad ass. That’s just on another level.”
The Oscar-winner said he and his family will return to Los Angeles to reunite with their eldest daughter when they can leave Ireland.