Change of plans. Matt Damon is hunkering down in Dalkey, Ireland, with his family amid the country’s lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Departed star, 49, was left stranded in the quaint seaside town — which boasts approximately 8,000 residents — after he arrived in mid-March to film scenes for his upcoming movie, The Last Duel. According to the New York Times, Damon also brought his wife, Luciana, and their daughters, Isabella, 13, Gia, 11, and Stella, 9.
The Academy Award winner’s permanent residence is in New York City, which has more than 200,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than 11,000 deaths due to the respiratory illness. In contrast, Ireland has more than 17,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 700 deaths.
Damon has been settling into Dalkey, where the actor could be spotted at a local pub or restaurant before the country issued its mandatory stay at home order. Residents have gotten used to seeing the Good Will Hunting star around town and have started to affectionally call him “Matt O’Damon.”
The Massachusetts native has been doing his part to spread awareness about the importance of social distancing amid the pandemic. Damon and his Contagion costar Kate Winslet teamed up with Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health scientists for a PSA in March.
“You can literally save their life just by staying away from each other,” Damon, who portrayed Mitch Emhoff in the 2011 film, said in the video. “Please, let’s respect and protect our elders.”
He added, “New viruses emerge all the time. This isn’t the first and it won’t be the last. In time we’re going to win against this one as well.”
Winslet, 44, meanwhile, gave a tutorial on the best handwashing practices. “Wash your hands like your life might depend on it, because right now, in particular, it just might,” the Titanic star said.
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