Matt Damon: Fatherhood Keeps My Heart ‘Full’

12/09/2011 at 11:00 AM ET
Courtesy PARADE

Matt Damon wasn’t afraid to dive into daddy duty.

When the actor married wife Luciana in 2005, Damon also became stepfather to her then 4-year-old daughter Alexia and has never looked back.

“I jumped into the deep end with Lucy. I mean, Alexia was already 4. I was an extra dad,” Damon, 41, tells PARADE.

The couple have since welcomed daughters Isabella, 5½, Gia, 3, and Stella, 13 months.

“The only way I can describe it — it sounds stupid, but — at the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, you know how his heart grows like five times?” he explains. “Everything is full; It’s just full all the time.”

Despite his celebrity status, Damon has managed to keep his family out of the spotlight. His secret, he admits, is simple: there’s just not much to see.

“I’ve been left alone, even by the paparazzi, because what sells is sex and scandal,” he says. “Absent that, they really don’t have that much interest in you. I’m still married, still working, still happy.”

His lack of being in the limelight has caught the attention of fellow celebrities — including his former Ocean’s Thirteen costar!

Brad [Pitt] and Angie, there’s much more pressure on them than there is on me. He asked me what my everyday is like,” Damon recalls.

“I said, ‘Well, I grab the kids from school and then we go over to the park.’ And he was just looking at me like, ‘How can you do that?’ Because he can’t.”

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 35 comments

Rebecca on

I disagree and do not care for his movies.

Anonymous on

The Bourne movies rock! One of my fave actors. Great to see SOMEONE in Hollywood take marriage, family and commitment seriously in this world. Yes, it’s work, that’ real life, but rewarding. The best to the Damons.

Anonymous on

Love the way he talks about his family! I have to admit, though, that when I saw his comment about being “an extra dad” to Alexa, all I could think about it was that if that had been Gisele Bundchen talking about being an extra mom to Jack, people would be jumping down her throat. Yet when Matt does it it’s okay. The double-standards on this site never cease to amaze me!

Shannon on

They had another baby!? Guess I’m late. lol

Jillian on

I am a big fan of Matt’s because of his movies and the way he is with his family and keeping them out of the public. I love that he has always treated Alexia as his own. I remember reading awhile ago that her bio dad was not a part of her life….at least at that time.

People wouldnt like it If Giselle said because people like to dislike everything she does. She’s one of those people. Just like a Kardashian. Makes me shake my head. I can not be a fan of someone and give them a compliment. So many people can’t do that….blows my mind.

Oh, I love the name the Willis girls gave Ashton…MOD (my other dad).

Megan on

I don’t think there’s any comparison between Matt’s comment here and Gisele’s comments about her stepson. Saying that you’re an “extra dad” is not anywhere close to claiming that the kid is your child nor does it imply that you’re trying to replace the biological parent, which is the issue people had with what Gisele said. I very much doubt anyone would have cared had she said she was an “extra mom” to Jack.

Nella on

He’s a good actor, but I don’t particularly care for him either, but he does seem like a good dad and cares about his family which I think is great. It’s nice that he’s managed to still have somewhat of a normal life outside of hollywood.

Suzanne on

I love Matt Damon. It’s wonderful to hear him talk that way about family and also live it. It’s easy to say, not so easy to do. I wish him and fmaily nothing but the best.

Leah on

Actually there was a big debate in this blog about Matt saying he has four daughters. People went ballistic and wrote he was being disrespectful to Alexia’s father. Eventually someone who claimed to be Alexia’s dad wrote that he was happy about Matt treating Alexia as his own. That pretty much stopped the entire discussion.

Steph on

There’s nothing I find sexier than a ‘family man’…

Sarah K. on

Megan, that’s not really even what Gisele said. She said she loved him as much as if she had given birth to him AND that she respects that he has a mom. Everyone keeps leaving out that part of her quote. She has never said he was hers or that she was his mom. Way to misquote her to keep the controversy alive.

Anyways, back to Matt Damon. Alexia’s father has always been in her life. Part of the reason why they lived in Miami for so long was because that’s where her dad lives. That’s why Matt said “extra dad.” That being said, it’s wonderful to see step-parents care so deeply about their step-children.

Megan on

Sarah– I didn’t quote her at all so I don’t see how I could’ve possibly misquoted her. The previous poster had alluded to something she’d said so I was paraphrasing the objections people had had to that comment. The only real point being made here was that Matt Damon’s comment is clearly innocuous and doesn’t lend itself to the same misinterpretations that stemmed from what Gisele said.

Sarah K. on

Megan, I don’t really want to get in an argument over semantics. You did indicate in your post that Gisele “claimed” that kid was her child and that’s why people had an issue. That’s not what happened and Gisele’s comments were actually quite benign as well.

My point is that the whole thing got blown out of proportion because people chose certain parts of sentences and left out the parts where she acknowledged that she wasn’t the mother.

Funny enough, in Matt Damon posts, people always think that Alexia’s father is no longer in the picture based on the way Matt speaks about her. No one has ever thought that about Bridget. Their situation actually seems quite similar to the Damon’s (on the surface anyways) in that the actual parents don’t seem to have a problem with the step-parents’ level of involvement.

J on

His ego is certainly full as well.

Hannah on

Love him, his family and his movies.

He seems very humble and down to earth.

Trish on

Matt Damon is one of the most grounded down to earth guy in the industry. He hasn’t let it og to his head – ever. Some people get caught up and crawl out of their ego…but he has never had to do it.

This guy could make the cover of sexiest guy alive every year…not because he is very attractive…because obviously he is…

but what’s sexier than being intelligent, brutally talented (the guy can act in any role!), be an educated humanitarian, have a sense of humour, and be a doting husband and father….

Wish him and his gorgeous wife the best.

Emily on

Have always loved Matt Damon. He seems like he is a great husband and father and that is plenty to make your heart full 🙂 The best to him and his family!

DynamicDbytheC on

It is great to see a man who has values in the movie industry. He and his friend Ben seem to have stable marriages and are giving energy to their families and marriages. I have been fond of Matt for a long time and his personal values have added to my respect for him. Both Matt and Ben have college educations and I do believe that has a positive influence on many aspects of their lives. Other celebrities who have gone to college seem to be more grounded as well, Jody Foster and Brooke Shields, for example. Rob Lowe didn’t go to college but his mom was a teacher, he was raised with strong values and had a good education which helped him get his life back on track when he got into trouble.

Having the love of my life for 28 years and now facing the possibility of losing him to cancer, I know that being a team in this world/life is EVERYTHING. Happy Holidays.

Colleen on

I love Matt Damon. He’s a good actor and a great man. I used to be a fan of Brad Pitt but not so much anymore. He asks Matt “how do you do it?” Really, Brad?! Nevermind cheating on your wife with a costar, how about not making a spectacle of you and your kids’ lives? How about not wondering which country your next child will come from or even worse, be born in? Matt is private, Brad is public. It’s all about choices.

DynamicDbytheC on

Well said Colleen.

look on

Is it behind his big ego too?

Cinder Lou on

Matt Damon is so much more classy than Brad and Angie will ever be. While he keeps his private life private, Brad and Angie continue to drag their kids out anywhere and everywhere paparazzi might be watching. Their outlooks on family life are polar opposites. Matt wants marriage, family, a settled-down lifestyle. Brad and Angie want to be nomads (her term, not mine). You get what’s coming to you. Matt strives for privacy; he gets it. Brad and Angie strive for publicity; they get that. Each family is living exactly the way they want to. Don’t be hypocritical and pretend it’s anything else.

Antoniah on

To Megan. The comparison made is valid, I think. Both were trying to express they were in the loop with children from a previous marriage. What Gisele said, that she thought of Jack as her own son, is nothing but positive. She would treat him as she would her own. How is that negative or trying to “substitute biological mom?”

I have two boys myself (my husband’s kids from previous marriage.) They have their mom and they have me. I have always tried to care for them as I would care for a child born to me. I do them nor their mom any harm.

momtoKB on

Personally, I think it’s great that Matt says he has “four daughters”. My husband is not my daughter’s father. He is also involved in her life and I think it’s great that my husband says he has a daughter, even though she is not his blood. It shows committment to love that child as your own.

Angela on

@Leah, it’s interesting that you mention that. I recall reading comments about that too. It’s funny because if he didn’t include Alexis as one of his daughters people would jump down his throat and when he does, people still get pissed. I do feel sorry for these celebrities sometimes, because no matter what they saw or do some people will find fault in them.

I think he seems like a down-to-earth loving father and husband. And I trully respect that.

Jilllouise on

I just love him more and more all the time! Who says celebrities cant live normal lives?

Vanessa on


-Bourne Identity, Invictus- with Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, his first hit he wrote-GOOD WILL HUNTING, -MANY awards.

It is Brad Pitt who can’t act and just reads lines!!!

jujub's mom on

Matt Damon & Gisele, both have one thing in common they know how to treat their stepchild!

I am no fan of Gisele’s I find her prentensious and boring, but she treats that little boy like her own and she loves him, and doesn’t differentiate between the boys and neither does Matt Damon.

As a mom, if my child couldn’t always be with me, I would prefer that she is with someone who loves her and doesn’t treat her like she is the EXTRA child…thats nonsense…

Elwanda Iskenderian on

Matt Damon, is a better actor and father….than Brad Pitt ! Jennifer Anisten, is much better off with out his cheating with a drug crazed woman like Angelina Jolie !!!! Angelina, can’t even stand to be around her children…..unless there is a camera pointed at them !!!She needs to comb her daughters hair…put them in dresses…I have no respect for Brad Pitt or the so called mother of his children he is living with….

PFG on

Absolutely great stuff…to be living your life, grounded, yet giving way to understanding it. It’s your life chosen…when it’s chosen. It’s your job to focus in on it everyday in making it important to all of you. How parents lose sight & lead their lives selfishly all to often. Active participation, giving love & giving yourself away to your family as it’s what you have lovingly created. This man has done much before committing to a marriage. Many days & nights with others that used him for another premise. He can’t be himself with everyone & when you find that loving partner, you come to know it. It’s a beautiful brand new house, it feels right, it’s a welcoming home & you can’t wait to watch your home grow. Your willing to maintain this house, do what it takes to make a good life for your partner & youself. It’s your center of the universe & where you want to be as you know you belong there. Your friendship & bond with a fellow actor has helped keep you both grounded & well rooted with family. You started this journey together & it has kept you with what’s important…being love for who you are.

To know there’s a difference…either your in marriage fully or your not. Wanting to be the father that does well & the right things, be maintained & kept significant. You want love returned, to be cherished, & your spouse glad to be in love with you. You focused on living, giving & nurturing your family needs with not bending into being into it being all about yourself. That is a good marriage, a wonderful partnership & a wonderful thing to come home to, now isn’t it?

Isn’t that the way all men & women are raised to live in marriage when it’s chosen?

Not likely…you see it everywhere how parents love for things monetary & not. They do not love or nurture well, are not understanding, complassionate & least likely appreciative. You see absorbent amount of selfishness in how & what they live. It’s like they wear a very heavy backpack most parents for almost far back as I can remember now in looking for anyone & every avenue to take it off & get away from it. Then incessantly whine & complain about it when they have to deal with living their life as a parent. It’s a blossoming flower, that can be beautiful or you can make your chlidren into another thornbush just like you. Being a parent can be mundane, tedious at times, but it’s also the the direct opposite too often. Being a good parent is living stable, within rules, structure, loads of love & appreciations given away. So your children can do it, live well, be happy yet have a model with how to do for their children as well.

Jes on

I love Matt’s views on being a step-dad to his oldest daughter. I had the WORST step-mother to the point that I don’t have a relationship with my bio-dad anymore. It is good to see people who understand the importance of being a positive person in a childs life wether they are your biological child or not. I have step-children now and made a vow to myself when I married my husband that I would be the best step-mom to those kids I could be. Lucky for me they make it easy by being incredable kids. I discovered when my daughter was born that my heart doesn’t know the difference between my daughter and my step-children which is exactly as it should be.

Cindy on

CBB comment section is always good for some comic relief.


This article makes me love Matt even more! Just a normal family man who happens to be one of the best movie stars in the biz! Thanks for keeping your private life private, and thanks for gracing us with your talent on the big screen!

Marky on

Elwanda, this is a thread about Matt Damon, not Brad and Angie. You cannot truthfully say Angie “can’t stand her own children”, in fact, she seems to love them very much. Anyone can say whatever rude crud they want to, but that doesn’t make it true. All the people who work with either of them always comment on how much they love each other and their children. It’s just old to hear this kind of hatefulness.

I think Matt Damon is a good actor whose movies I really enjoy, and he seems as if he is a good husband and father to all their kids. His movies are very popular with a lot of people.

Cathleen on

Wow, he seems so grounded, which is surprising for an ultra-famous hollywood actor. He seems like a great father, too!