Matt Damon Says Parenthood Can Only Be Understood By Parents

03/16/2009 at 09:00 AM ET
George Pimentel/WireImage

When the video of comedian Sarah Silverman‘s take on her relationship with Matt Damon went viral on the Internet, a fan of the actor took it upon himself to set the record straight. In a new interview with PARADE, Matt jokes that the timing of the situation proved to be perfect — his wife, Luciana was pregnant! “My favorite story about it was that somebody sent my wife a shirt that said, ‘I’m [f–king] Matt Damon’ and there was a note with it. ‘You’re actually the only person who can wear this,'” he recalls. Although he “swear[s] it wasn’t me who sent it,” Matt admits that watching his wife sport the tee with her burgeoning belly provided a few laughs for the couple.

Since welcoming his second daughter last August, Matt defines fatherhood as a complex experience that only a fellow parent can understand. For one, says the proud papa, his daddy duties have him turning the lights out far earlier than his bachelor days. Confessing that he is “probably a lot more boring than I used to be and more tired at night,” Matt has learned to appreciate the value of sleep. “You can’t fake it. It’s like when it’s bedtime, it’s bedtime,” he explains.

“I think being a parent changes everything about you in really little ways and in ways that you don’t really understand unless you have kids. It’s kind of like describing a guitar chord — it’s not really a simple thing to do.”

Taking the opportunity to address the rumors that he is currently working on a new script with his best friend, actor Ben Affleck, Matt says that the gossip couldn’t be farther from the truth. While the duo “will do something eventually,” the 38-year-old explains that the reports of the friends spending time together last year was simply a family vacation. “We went on vacation together and I guess everybody thought we were writing something, but we were just having fun with our families.”

Isabella, 2 ½, and Gia Zavala, 6 ½ months, are Matt’s daughters with Luciana; they also raise Alexia, her daughter from a previous relationship. Ben and his wife Jennifer Garner are parents to daughters Violet Anne, 3, and Seraphina Rose Elizabeth, 8 ½ weeks.

Source: PARADE

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Maggie on

I don’t believe that you have to have to be a parent to understand parents and the changes they go through when they have (a) child(ren). I have taken care of my cousins and have been taking care of them for almost 9 years. I’m only 17 years old so at first I did only simple things, but then the day came when I was taking care of 6 children. They were only 8, 6, 5, 3 1/2, and twins who were a few months old. It wasn’t easy and it was tiring, but I understand parents and I have done everything for them and would do it all again. I have love for them like no other, especially their mom.

Janna on

The Sarah Silverman video (and Jimmy Kimmel’s response video with Ben Affleck) was the funniest thing I’ve seen in years. Look them up on youtube.com and get ready to roll. WARNING: They are both VERY adult in nature and you should only watch them if the “f” word or sexual jokes don’t bother you.

It’s a shame that Silverman and Kimmel are no longer a couple. Their senses of humor seemed so compatible.

Sarah on

I really love Matt Damon, he seems like such a great guy and an amazing father. I hope he and Luciana can be a couple that lasts forever, they seem devoted to each other.

Maggie, although you have an idea of what its like to be a parent, you never know the full amount until you actually become one yourself. You really can’t compare babysitting to being a full time parent its incredibly different and much more stressful. You may have done it for one day but parents have to do it all day every day for the rest of their lives

taegan on

Aww I love Matt, he is such a nice guy.

Maggie on

You’re right, Sarah. I haven’t done it everyday for my life, but I have done it often enough to get an idea and understand. The times I did just babysit for a few hours or for half a day weren’t as frequent as people might think. I have taken care of 4 young kids for days by myself and it is tiring, emotionally and physically. Thankfully, when I had to take care of the four children with the twins I had help (most days) just like my cousin does everyday and I’m not talking about her SO. I have changed for those children just like almost any parent out in the world does for their children.

Matt Damon does seem like an incredibly great and happy man and dad. =)

J on

I have to agree with Maggie. Everyone’s experiences are different so you can’t really tell someone that they don’t understand unless they are a parent. I’ve know a few caregivers of kids who spend way more time and give 100% more than the actual parents to the kids.

Letty on

I can’t help but comment here..I hear people saying the same sort of thing as Matt all the time, and I guess I wish people would be a bit more careful and sensitive to how their thoughts might hurt others. I’m lucky enough to be a mommy myself, but I have family, dear friends and also distant aquintances who are childless and endure the heartache of longing to become parents. And I have to say, I feel strongly that they are probably very much in tune with how it feels to be a parent. I for one wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember, and when my daughter was born my husband and I were overwhelmed with love for her and have been ever since, just as I imagined we would be. Nothing I feel for her came as a surprise to me, and none of the hard work has been unexpected. I also know that I would have found it so much harder if I hadn’t been able to have her. I’m sure Matt’s comments came from the heart, and simply reflect the depth of what he feels for his beautiful family, but when I hear people talking like this, it can sound so smug and patronising to me, almost like we parents are a bit better than our childless peers. Perhaps I’m wrong here, but I just don’t like it whenever I hear this stuff.

kris on

Um…how can someone who is not a parent understand how if changes you to be a parent? Now, if you take care of children (cousins, grandkids etc) as if you were their parent then you would know how that deep love, worry etc changes you. While it is certainly hard for people who desperately want a child and do not have one and they may have visions of how it would feel to have a child they can’t really know how having a child changes you if they do not have a child. That’s not meant to be insensitive. I’ve seen friends and family struggle and my heart breaks for them.

Oh, and this is the question he was asked:
“Now that you’re spending a lot of daddy-time with your kids, have you changed?” This is the only part of the article that addresses family.

taegan on

I don’t think he is being smug, he was asked a question and this is how he truly feels.

You guys have to remember that he was also childless at some point before Isabella. Although he may have been around he’s friends and family who had kids, it does not mean he understood the emotions they were experiencing!

These are his feelings on the matter not an intentional stab at those without! A lot of people feel like this, not just celebs.

My junior most Auntie had a childless marriage for 9years, all her sisters and brothers had children, helping to care for them did not make feel as maternal until she had her own. Don’t get me wrong she loved them (nieces & nephews), but the level of responsibility; dependency; unconditional love and to some degree initial helplessness that most work through, allows parents to develop a sense of self and well being that affirms their own growth and view of the world.

Being totally responsible for another life (bio & adopted) is the crux of the matter. ‘Babysitting’ is not the same thing.

Maggie on

This is a comment I wrote on another site.
I may not have given birth or adopted, but I certainly understand parents and I have to say that I’m pretty darn good with helping raise children. I’m still young so I can relate to them and help find alternative ways to do things. I can cuddle, bathe, play, feed, teach, help, shop, and cook, but most of all I can love with all my heart like a mother/father would do with their own child. I wasn’t just a babysitter. I took care of my cousins better and more than my cousin did and she still barely takes care of them.
My life revolved around those children and their needs. I did everything for them even when I didn’t have to because I loved (and still love) them more than anything in this world. Just as most parents/guardians make decisions for their children and make sure that they have a good future, I did the same.

Jane on

Letty- I loved the very deep and sensitive comment you made and completely agree. Too bad not everyone has this depth of character and sensitivity to others.

Letty on

I’m not angry at Matt or anything!..I know his comments weren’t an intentional stab, and I can see that what he said was out of the pure love and astonishment he feels since his beautiful children came along. I’m just expressing that I never like to hear these kind of comments from fellow parents, but I know that it’s partly because of my occupation, which means I work with people who have lost more than many of us would ever be able to imagine(thank God..)..maybe it makes me a little oversensitive, I don’t know!

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