Hailing from Massachusetts – you only need watch his and Ben Affleck’s Oscar acceptance speech for Good Will Hunting to instantly realise his roots – the Boston boy and his five girls now call LA home; a plac where oestrogen levels and Frozen songs hang with more importance than any suggestion of so-called fame. “Oh god, which song do you want to sing? You have no idea how many times I’ve watched Frozen and The Little Mermaid,” he offers of the enforced viewing of kids’ flicks.
The glee (no, seriously) in his voice makes us compile the unlikeliest of wants – to witness a Damon daddy day-care session and belt out a duet of ‘Under the Sea’. “Now that we live in LA and drive to school, I’ve been able to transition them to other music. At the moment they’re on an Adele kick, which is fine by me. I could listen to that woman sing all day long.”
“I overbooked myself for this twoand- a-half-year stretch, because five of my favourite directors had stuff on. It just lined up that way, but it has been really tough on my family,” he says, a bittersweet admission. “I did The Martian with Ridley Scott, then a movie called The Great Wall with Chinese director Zhang Yimou.
Then I went right into Bourne with Paul and now I’m doing a movie with Alexander Payne [Downsizing] before I go straight into one [Suburbicon] with George Clooney.
“The family came to China and lived there for six months with me, and we were in London in autumn and, look, all these places are wonderful but, at a certain point, I’ve got to stay home,” he says, the previously languid tones swapped for serious ones.
“Priorities are always changing in the sense that I have these great loves in my life – my family, which is the most important, and then my work and my foundation [water.org]. “All require time and attention and deep engagement. So far we’ve been able to juggle all three, primarily because my wife is awesome and we do this all together, but it’s hard and sometimes you overload in one area. Right now, that's work."