“I had — not to get too personal — negotiated extensively with my wife that I was taking time off,” Damon — who stars as engineer Leslie Groves in the biographical thriller — told Entertainment Weekly on Monday, July 17. “I had been in Interstellar, and then Chris put me on ice for a couple of movies, so I wasn’t in the rotation, but I actually negotiated in couples therapy — this is a true story — the one caveat to my taking time off was if Chris Nolan called. This is without knowing whether or not he was working on anything, because he never tells you. He just calls you out of the blue. And so, it was a moment in my household.”
At the beginning of the month, Damon, 52, also revealed how Barroso, 46, helped him with his mental health while working on a film project that didn’t go as planned.
“Without naming any particular movies … sometimes you find yourself in a movie that you know, perhaps, might not be what you had hoped it would be, and you’re still making it,” Damon said during a July appearance on the “Jake’s Takes” podcast. “And I remember halfway through production and you’ve still got months to go and you’ve taken your family somewhere, you know, and you’ve inconvenienced them, and I remember my wife pulling me up because I fell into a depression about like, what have I done?”
Damon added: “She just said, ‘We’re here now.’ It was like … I do pride myself, in a large part because of her, at being a professional actor and what being a professional actor means is you go and you do the 15-hour day and give it absolutely everything, even in what you know is going to be a losing effort. And if you can do that with the best possible attitude, then you’re a pro, and she really helped me with that.”
The couple met when Barroso — a single mom to daughter Alexia at the time — was working at a bar in Miami in 2003. They tied the knot two years later. Damon and Barroso expanded their family and welcomed daughters Isabella, Gia and Stella in 2006, 2008 and 2010, respectively.
After keeping his family life relatively private, in December 2012, Damon shared his feelings on being a dad to four daughters.
“I never expected to be surrounded by girls, but it’s great. … You never know which way life’s going to take you,” Damon gushed to Today at the time. “I’m learning so much, not the least of which is how much smarter girls are. I operated under the assumption that us guys had a chance, but I realized when I was completely wrapped around my [toddler’s] finger, and she knew it. If they can do that to us at 2 years old, when they’re fully grown we really don’t stand a chance.”
Six years later, Barroso gave some more insight into her marriage with Damon.
“I just know I think we both feel really, really lucky to have met each other so we don’t take that for granted,” she said in an interview with Vogue at the time. “It’s life and marriage, so there’s ups and downs, you know, but overall, it’s easy and it’s fun. And he’s such a good dad.”