Why Matt Damon Is Nicknamed ‘Red Alert’

08/27/2011 at 05:00 PM ET

Being a father has turned Matt Damon into a cautious man.

“I’m probably more protective than I’ve ever been now that I have children,” the actor, 40, told reporters Saturday at the press junket for his new film, Contagion.

And Damon’s not the only one who’s noticed the change in his demeanor.

My wife [Luciana]’s nickname for me is ‘Red Alert,'” he says with a laugh. “I sometimes check to see if the kids are breathing.”

When it comes to parenting Stella, 10 months, Gia, 3, Isabella, 5, and Alexia, 12, “I tend be a little overprotective without trying to be a helicopter parent,” Damon explains.

One thing that Damon isn’t too guarded about is his hair — he recently shaved his head for an upcoming role.

“I love it. I see why these guys rock it,” Damon said, referencing his Contagion costar Laurence Fishburne, director Steven Soderbergh and writer Scott Z. Burns, who all prefer the bald look.

“It’s great in the summertime. It’s really easy getting out of the shower.”

— Patrick Gomez

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 37 comments

Julie on

Well, at least he’s being a responsible parent, unlike other parents who want to be their kids “friends”.

Rachel on

Good for you, Mr. Damon! So many parents are just f-k ups who have no clue how to take care of kids. And thank you, thank you, thank you for standing up for teachers. As an educator, I wholeheartedly appreciate it! : )

debo adejobi on

Been there mon, I can relate. I would check to hear my children breathe at nite, and for children sometimes it is not easy to discern, so I’d turn the lights on for visual confirmation…Put pillows on the floor just in case they roll over and fall off the bed…

Nice to see a Dad that cares so much. Prevention is better than cure, that was my philosophy. They are now 12, and 10 years old respectively.

Joaquin on

Seems like such a nice normal guy. You never hear anything about about him or his lovely wife.

minerva on

I always have so much respect for him as an actor and as a person. He is smart, unpretentious and low key. He should run for politics. I think he’ll do much better than the clowns in congress/senate. I love him for supporting teachers and education. He is also very articulate speaker.

kELLY on

Don’t hear about them b/c they are normal. Only constantly see the freaks and their brood all over the place. Makes for good reading to see how insane some “parents” are.

Christie on

@Debo – you sound like me! It is so reassuring to see a dad being a dad despite all the fame. What a great couple and I’m so happy that they are blessed with three beautiful children and those children are blessed with such fantastic parents!

GSquare on

Love Matt Damon! Such a great guy! I met him twice in real life years ago and he was so gracious. Love how he stuck up for teachers and also love how he married a normal girl.

bap on

Never hear about Damon? You must be kidding he is a bleeding heart liberal! He uses his bully pulpit to spread lies about Conservates.

He has a right to his opinion, but not to his own facts.

Movie stars should make movies or become politicians not both.

bap on

knew you would’t print it.

Ken on

I know where he is coming from. I drove a military ambulance while in Alaska and was called by some very distraught parents saying their baby was dead. The baby was 3 months old and had died from what is commonly known as “Crib Death” during the nite and wasn’t discovered by the parents until they got up for work. From that experience I was very attentive after I got married and had children.

meghan on

bap, maybe if you shut up for five seconds they will print your post. They print everything on this site, no matter how annoying, irrelevant or stupid.

Rebecca on

Bap, what the heck are you talking about?

Of course he has a right to his own “facts.” First of all, if they are facts, then they’re indisputable, therefore he definitely has the right to them. Second, he definitely has the “right” to all his opinions, and can even share them, if he so chooses: it’s called freedom of speech. So what you said didn’t really make sense. And yes, actually he does have the right to share his opinions, like everyone else has the freedom to do.

I don’t know what you’re talking about regarding the “bullying conservatives,” but I definitely remember him weighing in on Sarah Palin, and I was in complete agreement with him. He seems pretty level-headed and I don’t believe he would do that.

So, what the heck are you talking about?

J on

If Matt has a right to his opinions then so does Bap, so scolding her on shutting up is a little hypocritical.

To be fair, Matt is pretty mouthy so why some are acting confused on his opinions which he loudly states is too funny.

Andrea on

Love, love, love this man. He and his wife seem like genuinely good people.

Rebecca on

J, Yes, that would be hypocritical, but I never said once for Bap to shut up in my post. My point was that I honestly didn’t understand what they were talking about, and merely explained why it didn’t make sense to me.

Rebecca on

And, stating someone’s opinion (which is totally legal, and done all the time) is definitely not the same as “bullying” someone, which is what Bap was saying Matt was doing. All I said was that yes, Matt is very vocal with his opinions, but he generally seems to think his opinions through carefully, and usually doesn’t make personal attacks against people with them. From what I’ve seen of him, at least.

I’ve certainly nothing about “bullying conservatives” which is why I asked for clarification in the first place. And, YES, I’m “confused,” because Bap’s post was badly written, and that’s why I said “What are you talking about?” I am definitely not confused about Matt Damon’s opinions. It sounds like you’re the one who is confused, J, since you completely missed my point.

not you on

The only person who said bap should shut up was actually only using a common phrase (the “if you would shut up for 5 seconds”) that is merely meant to imply the person is being impatient and doesn’t pay attention. Learn how words work, J.

The second person who commented merely asked for Bap to explain their stupid comments.

Again, learn to read and how words work to create concepts and ideas, instead of just reading thru something, picking out the few words you understand and latching onto them to form an incoherant argument.

Jillian on

Bap, you make make no sense. This article has nothing to do with politics, so I am not sure why you bring that up. “He has a right to his opinion, but not to his own facts.” since when oes a person not have. Right to HIS own facts? Makes no sense!!

Rebecca, I love what you said!

J, the point I believe Meghan is making is if bap shut up for two seconds……her non relevant post would appear, It never said, shutup about her opinion.

VietVet on

Bap, are you a regular troll or do you get paid by the GOP/Tea Party?

Catca on

@Rebecca – saying someone doesn’t have a “right to their own facts” is a common expression that means you don’t have a right to make up your own facts and have to work with what is actually out there.

Matt Damon is liberal, it’s true and he does say it often and is involved with the political action group Moveon.org. Having said that, I’m not aware of Matt ever making up his own facts, although Moveon.org can twist things a bit. That doesn’t make Matt a lying hypocrite.

I’m going to respectfully disagree with bap for saying movie stars should make movies or be politicians, but not both. Movies are the largest mainstream art form alongside music, and both platforms have been used to send political messages. And celebrities do have the ability to reach alot of people and influence public opinion.

The problem is that the ability to influence public opinion comes with alot of responsibility, and actors and musicians should be very careful about vetting causes and really learning about them before becoming a spokesperson for that cause. Not all do that. But I think Matt, and his buddy Ben Affleck and George Clooney, as well as Bono, are examples that come to mind of actors that do vet well (they brought a great deal of attention to the suffering in Darfur).

It is true that Hollywood doesn’t make many conservative message movies, but conservatives have money and they can bankroll these types of movies if they wanted to. It’s being done by Christian conservatives to send Christian messages, Mel Gibson did it with “Passion of the Christ” and there are several christian networks on television and movies being made. There just aren’t many movies/tv shows depicting fiscal conservatism.

sara on

I love the irony of a conservative complaining about someone else being a bully. Conservatives’ entire identity is based on bullying those who they don’t like.

mo on

Looks like Affleck will have two more then, they like to keep up with each other.

peegee on

I’m ignoring the “bap flap” and would like to call attention to someone’s post about Mr. Damon having three children. If you have followed his many comments about being a father you have heard him say time after time that he has FOUR children, always always counting his step-daughter as his own. That speaks volumes about him as a person, period.

Dazed and Confused on

How did a small little article talking about Matt Damon being an overprotective dad spawn this stupid arguement about politics? He’s and ACTOR. And until HE jumps into politics it doesnt really matter with all this crap you are saying. So just enjoy the mans work (or don’t) and leave it alone. Isnt there real actual issues to worry about above this drivel conversation?

ghettoroostah on

not all conservatives bully others. just an fyi. 🙂

Jen on

@Rebecca…ok, “bully” pulpit does not mean “to bully,” lol. It is a term coined by Teddy Roosevelt, with the word “bully” meaning “splendid” or “superb…” a word he used often. A bully pulpit is a “superb” and advantageous spot for voicing ones’ opinion.

It frightens me the things people know/don’t know in the country.

Jen on

Just an FYI to all of you: Bully Pulpit does NOT mean to bully. It was a phrase coined by Teddy Roosevelt meaning an “excellent” or “superb” place to voice an opinion. He frequently used the word “bully” to mean “excellent”….as an adjective..not as a verb.

How can so many people claim to know the “facts” of politics when they don’t even know simple history?

Jillian on

You do realize that not everyone is the same………….. right? “Conservatives’ entire identity is based on bullying those who they don’t like.” What a joke! I am liberal, but don’t know a single conservative who is a bully. I hate people that lump me and think that liberals are all the same.

Mrs. Lyntel on

I really dont get why people compare parenting to friending your kids,I am both parent and friend I guess…playing games or toys with my kids, reading with them,watching a movie, going out doing things, talking…..then theres the chores, the correcting if needed, etc. I guess some have a different definition of a friend…and parent even

Rebecca on

Sorry I misunderstood Bap`s usage of the word “bully.”

I am A. A high school student and B. Canadian, so I am not really all that familiar with Teddy Roosevelt or the majority of American history so there’s no need to be patronizing just because I was not aware the word meant something different. I do apologize for sparking the argument however. It was not my intention to upset anyone, I just was seeking clarification.

Lisa on

Rebecca made some excellent points, and for the record, Jen, most people associate the word ‘bully’ with its current-day definition, not some long-ago terminology given by Teddy Roosevelt.

It never fails to amaze me, though, how people will throw politics into every single discussion they have. This article is about Matt Damon and parenting. I think if there was a way to prevent people from saying/typing anything with political references in it, comment boards would become very quiet places, indeed.

Rebecca on

Thanks Lisa 🙂 (and to the anon that defended me earlier.)
I definitely agree with you — politics never should have been brought up in the first place.

It is quite sad how many articles result in angry, stupid(for the most part) and pointless catfights between posters. Whether it`s an abortion debate, political dispute, or the usual “I-have-the-right-to-say-whatever-I-want” fight that usually goes on, it honestly seems like people go out of their way to insult others or put them down. You’d think that people on a site that posts baby pictures would be cheerful, happy individuals. I need to learn to stay away from the comments, I guess!

Rebecca Christiansen on

@Rebecca, when you live in California its a little hard to stomach movie-stars going on about teachers when the teachers union in this state is more concerned with lining its own pockets than actually teaching. Unions are actively working to bankrupt our state with their defined pensions and their constant need for pay raises. The medium salary for a teacher in this state is $50,000 and they work nine months a year. I particularly resent when a teacher talks about all the extra hours they work in a week because when you work 9 months a year, those aren’t really extra hours considering how much time off you get in the school year. I myself work 60+ hours a week for less than $50,000 but I don’t work in the public sector so I don’t have celebrities blindly endorsing me and I don’t get free healthcare for life like teachers in my state do.

In other words, Matt should stay under the radar. I love that he supports his mom but when his words are played across the nation – several states are trying to fight to stay solvent and with the teachers’ unions the way they are – that is becoming an impossible fight. California’s solvency is a hard battle, made harder by this country’s fascination with celebrities and the celebrities’ ego thinking their opinion on a certain issue deserves to be publicized. I used to just watch Matt Damon because he was a decent actor. Now I know he’s an elitist liberal with no perspective on what its like to live in a real environment. And no, teachers don’t…they should try 6 months in the private sector and they might just shut up and quit complaining.

I’m happy someone agrees that Sarah Palin is the worst thing since sliced bread. But I can’t afford to be a liberal. I can’t afford a brand new hybrid and I can’t afford to stay green. I am just trying to stay employed in a state where paying unions defined pensions and educating illegal aliens is a higher priority than staying solvent and paving the roads. But again, you know us conservatives we are a bunch of crackpots.

Oh and as for his parenting style – he doesn’t have to worry about money, the least he can do is stay up nights worrying about his kids.

Poppy on

Wow if a teacher gets US$ 50 000 a year, for only working 9 months, i am moving to the States and taking up teaching! Bl**dy hell, that is excellent money. I make about US$ 20 000 in the tourism industry and work 12 months a year, with 3 weeks leave. US HERE I COME!!!!

Bancie1031 on

This is another family that I love …. Wish we could see some recent pictures of their children 😦

Tink on

@Rebecca Christiansen: Perhaps you should try working in the teaching sector before making such stupid comments. In all honesty if you add up the hours before and after school as well as the hours done over the weekend you’d find that teachers in fact work as many hours as you do per year, they just happen to do them in specific time periods.

P.S. If you don’t support teachers and try to attract good ones then your country’s workforce is going to be made up of some pretty dumb people, and trust me, America already has a fairly poor reputation in that regard…