Entertainment And News

Matt Damon Shares His Best Marriage Advice — Including When It's OK To Break Relationship Rules

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Matt Damon in tux, Luciana Barroso in a red strapless dress

Long, happy and healthy Hollywood marriages are rare, so when you see couples like Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso celebrating more than a decade-and-a-half together, you wonder what their secrets are.

Turns out, it's all about commitment and keeping your promises whenever possible — and keeping family a priority, even when he's on set. 

It's become a well-known fact that he and his wife have made a pact to never spend more than two weeks apart, even when he's working on a film. Matt Damon himself told us that back when we interviewed him in 2014.

The beautiful thing is, they've been able to maintain that in the years since. 

There are always exceptions, of course, and healthy relationships grow and change.

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For instance, Damon and Barroso broke this rule in order to play Bill Baker, an oil rig worker from Oklahoma in the 2021 film Stillwater

"We kind of had a family meeting about it and my kids let me do it ... I just thought it was such a beautiful story and such a great role," Damon told CBS News in July. 

"This was the first movie where [the two week rule has] been violated. So that was tough, and it helped with the performance. It was easy to access what I needed to access because I was really missing my kids."

Damon says that he will never violate that rule again, however. 

Of course, being Matt Damon has its perks. Yes, he's handsome and known as one of the greatest action-adventure actors of his generation for his epic work in the Jason Bourne series, but at the end of the day, he's like everyone else. Just a guy with a rumbling stomach. 

"I walked over to the local Pizza Hut in this small town with another actor and we ordered the meat lover's pizza," Damon tells YourTango about improvising when on set with no car. "It came with about a mile of meat on it. One bite and it was like we ate an entire hamburger," he marvels.

I guess being famous really has its upside — including kissing movie stars like Emily Blunt (gorgeous!) and Michael Douglas, which he details below!

The Boston native, on the other hand, prefers to scale it back while at home with wife Luciana Barroso and their four daughters.

Here, Matt told YourTango about being the only man in his household and how he and Luciana continually put their marriage first.

While some of this interview speaks to apsects of their family that have passed, like the diapers Damon references below, Matt and Luciana's four girls, now ages 11 to 14, as well as their oldest daughter, Alexia, age 23, from Luciana's first marriage, are still the center of the couple's world.

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YourTango: What's it like to live in a house full of girls?
Matt Damon: "I don't get a lot of time in the bathroom, but that's okay. I'm surrounded by beautiful girls. I'm a lucky guy."

YourTango: How do you and your wife keep the romance alive?
Matt Damon: "We have a two week rule. I'm not away for more than two weeks. I think you need to be with the person you love as much as possible. My wife is my soul mate. I don't like being apart from her."

YourTango: If we went to your house on an average day, what would it look like to an outsider?
Matt Damon: "I might make you do diapers! Definitely you would have kids crawling all over you. If you saw me working, you wouldn't believe that anyone could write a script with kids all over him, but I do. I love it."

YourTango: How do you balance work and dad duty?
Matt Damon: "I write and then take little breaks. A kid runs in. You give someone a horsey ride and then put that child down, pick up a pen and say, 'Oh, I know the next line for this script.' I also write on the weekends."

YourTango: We have to ask: What's it like to lock lips with Michael Douglas in "Behind the Candelabra?"
Matt Damon: "It's great to kiss Michael Douglas. There are only a few of us who know how great it is. Catherine knows. I know. But I don't kiss and tell."

YourTango: What's your idea of an ideal break time?
Matt Damon: "Me and my family on a beach."

YourTango: How does it feel to hit your 40s?
Matt Damon: "I wish it was a misprint. I'm on the other side of the hill now. I'm more than puzzled by it. I don't feel like 40, but then again, I've been working consistently for so many years. And I have four kids! How did all this happen?"

YourTango: How do you juggle things so the family is together when you're on a long shoot?
Matt Damon: "I always wanted to work with Clint Eastwood and he offered me Invictus, which was shot in South Africa during the school year. My wife and I flew out our entire family, but also our eldest's class of 11-year-olds for a 10-day trip during the school holidays. We arranged it with the school and the kids did a school project there. They learned all about Mandela. It was such a great trip because my family was together and the kids didn't lose any school time. There is always a way to work it out."

YourTango: So many people are Matt Damon fans. Who are you a fan of in the entertainment world?
Matt Damon:
 "I really like Bruce Springsteen. When I did my movie Promised Land, I heard his album Wrecking Ball. John Krasinski and I went to a Springsteen concert and I even talked to Bruce after the show about how he feels about America and communities."

A relationship like Matt Damon has with his wife is even more special when you consider that he thought for a while that he'd never find, "the one". Fortunately for both of them, he was wrong.

“I didn’t think it was going to happen for me. My brother found his soulmate very young; he’d just turned 26 when they were married. He’d been married for 10 years by the time I even met my wife, and I looked at this really happy, wonderful marriage and kind of went, ‘I guess that’s not going to happen for me.’ And then it did," he told The Hollywood Reporter.

So, for all you single folks out there hoping to meet a Matt Damon (or Luciana Barroso) of your own, hang in there!

And when you meet that person, remember that you get to set your own rules for how to make your family thrive, just like this celebrity couple did — and you get to decide when to break them, too. 

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Cindy Pearlman is a celebrity writer who has interviewed Hollywood stars like Sam Claftin, Benedict Cumberbatch and Joe Gordon-Leavitt.