The Hollywood star has been quarantining in Ireland due to a ban on international travel. He took a few moments to thank the country's frontline workers.
Hollywood actor Matt Damon arrived in Ireland in early March to shoot for Ridley Scott's upcoming film The Last Duel. However, production was cut short owing to stay-at-home orders. Damon, who could not return home to the United States due to a ban on international travel, found comfort in Dalkey. Dalkey, a small seaside town, has been described as the Hollywood Hills of Ireland. When radio host Nathan O'Reilly of the Irish radio show Fully Charged caught wind of the star's new abode, he did everything possible to get a hold of him - including joining a Facebook group dedicated to tracking Damon down. Eventually, the Good Will Hunting actor shocked the radio host with a phone call. He also made a surprise call to a frontline health worker to thank her for her work, CBS News reports.
While Dalkey is quite a posh neighborhood, its residents are not used to hosting a Hollywood celebrity of Damon's stature. Therefore, he quickly became the talk of the town over the past few weeks. O'Reilly, who spent these weeks attempting to track the actor down, was absolutely shocked to receive a call from the star one fine day. He told Damon on the show, "I don't know if you're fully aware that the Dalkey people are protecting you like a glorious gem." That's when Damon revealed he actually knew about the Facebook group created to track him. "That's when I realized how great this place was and how protective everybody is here," he shared. "I had no idea this was happening behind the scenes." O'Reilly then admitted he had joined the group in order to rope Damon in for an interview.
I am fully obsessed with Matt Damon on lockdown in Ireland?? The hot dad vibes jumped out pic.twitter.com/26ayKRvzEb— Laura McNamara (@countdraculaura) May 15, 2020
Though the Saving Private Ryan star was aware of O'Reilly's efforts, it wasn't until U2 singer Bono nudged him to do the interview while on FaceTime that Damon finally agreed. He said, "That was the final impetus for me. I was like, 'I really got to check those guys out and call into the show.'" So there he was, surprising the radio show host with a simple phone call. However, he didn't stop there. He also phoned a superfan working on the frontlines of the pandemic as a nurse to thank her for her work. French nurse Annaice was taking a break to "rest a bit" as her work had slowed down that day. She said she "couldn't breathe" when she heard Damon on the other end of the line.
Yer man Matt Damon emerges from Dublin Bay with his togs in a plastic bag. Good lad. https://t.co/s9xJgSV1Cj— lisa o'carroll (@lisaocarroll) May 15, 2020
"Thank you so much for what you’re doing Annaice, I can’t even tell you," the star told her. "This has been so horrible for everybody but if there’s any silver lining it’s that hopefully people are finally understanding how awesome you frontline workers are and what you guys do. And the debt we owe you guys, I feel like that is the one thing to come out of this like we will never ever ever look at you guys the same and that’s a good thing. It’s really nice to meet you." While Ireland has been able to cope with the pandemic more effectively than some of its neighbors, such as the United Kingdom, it has hit the country quite terribly. Nonetheless, the country's health workers, including most notably Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, have risen to the occasion - something that Damon had definitely taken note of.
The day we met #MattDamon— Siobhan Berry (@mummycooks) May 13, 2020
You may have seen this photo doing the rounds of late. As confirmed on radio he is holding a bag of towels not cans and we can confer! #Mattonspin @SuperValuIRL pic.twitter.com/AjRpJFzpYs
wonder what Matt Damon is spending his 350 a week on— luca (@l_u_c_a01) May 13, 2020
Calling the Taoiseach (as the Prime Minister is called) "a badass," the actor paid tribute to Ireland's handling of the public health crisis. He was also thankful for the ability to be with his family during this challenging time. He said, "Obviously what's going on in the world is horrible, but for my family, it timed out right. I'm with my whole family and I have my kids and we have teachers with us because we were planning on missing school for about eight weeks. So we have what nobody has, which is live human beings teaching our kids." Finally, of course, he had to make a reference to his hit movie Contagion, which almost predicted the ongoing crisis. "Anybody who says you couldn't predict this, just look at Contagion," stated Damon. "I mean, 10 years ago we made a movie just by talking to experts and asking them how this would look and how it would kind of go down... The whole thing is just tragic and sad. I hope some good can come out of it."