Matt Damon had not really "hung out" in Miami and almost didn't go out the night he met his wife. They are parents to four daughters now.
Call it timing or serendipity, but finding the right partner does depend heavily on these magical moments. What are the chances that you would meet a beautiful stranger, fall in love at first sight, marry them, and have a wonderful marriage? The chances are low but it happened to actor Matt Damon, 50.
Damon met Argentinian-born Luciana Barroso, 45, in the most Hollywood way possible. After signing to star in the comedy Stuck on You in 2003, Damon went to Miami for the shooting.
"We were supposed to shoot in Hawaii, and then the movie got moved to Miami. . . . I had never really hung out in Miami," he said. So, one night some crew members took him to a bar even though he was reluctant to go. Barroso was working there as a bartender, he told Ellen Degeneres in 2011. "I literally saw her across a crowded room, literally," he continued. "Eight years and four kids later, that's my life. I don't know how else our paths would've crossed if that didn't happen. If all those things didn't happen."
"I hit the jackpot with my wife," he added.
Before he met her, he really believed that he won't find his true love. "I remember thinking, in my early 30s, that I wouldn’t [get married], you know? I didn’t think it was going to happen for me," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "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 added.
His wife also has her version of what happened the night they met and what convinced her that he's the one. The mother-of-four told Vogue Australia, "Matt’s story is that he saw me across the room and there was a light on me. And I’m like: 'Yeah it was a nightclub - there were lights everywhere!'"
She added that back then, he had "started getting recognized and asked for pictures and autographs, and then it got kind of aggressive because people are drinking and stuff, and so he came and hid behind my bar … [wanting to] just hang out back there and have a drink." He told her, "Oh I saw you and I really wanted to talk to you."
She made him work with her after telling him that if he was going to be behind the bar, he "can't just be standing there." What are the chances that he had trained to be a bartender? None. But he had trained to be one for a film years before and started making drinks. "And he made me a ton of money in tips that night because of course everyone wanted to go and see him. So it turned into a really fun night and then 15 years later here we are!" said the 45-year-old, who was already a mother of one daughter, Alexia, back then.
Alexia was only four at the time and she was a single mum raising her. When he found out, he was even more impressed. "We definitely had a connection right away, it was so easy to talk to each other we were very comfortable [with each other], and by the end of the night, he invited me to go out with his friends. But I was like: ‘I can’t, I have a four-year-old daughter, I’m not going anywhere'… and that was one of the things he loved, that I had a daughter," she added. The actor said that he loved it that she was a mother and that was her "priority."
In turn, she saw his words as a plus point in a man. "Some guys might have been different, they might think it’s complicated, but for him, it wasn’t. When you meet somebody that you have a connection with, that’s just the person that you have a connection with, all the other stuff— the movie-star part—wasn’t really a factor. It was just Matt, to me he’s just Matt," said she.
Damon proposed to her in September 2005 and they got married in December 2005 in a private ceremony. She was pregnant with their first child then. He went right back to work after the ceremony in Manhattan, according to People.
The couple had three daughters, Gia, Isabella, and Stella, together since then, and Barroso was right by his side when he wanted to escape Hollywood to heal after experiencing the pain of losing a parent. In 2018, they moved to Australia's Byron Bay after Damon lost his dad, Kent, reports Vogue Australia.
When asked what the secret to their long-lasting marriage is, she said, "No idea! 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 called him a "good dad" before adding, "It’s life and marriage, so there’s ups and downs you know, but overall it’s easy and it’s fun."