Academy Award winner Matt Damon says he can relate to Benjamin Mee, the character he plays in the new Cameron Crowe film, “We Bought a Zoo.”
“I think mostly because I saw it as a love story between this guy and his wife,” says Damon.
Mee is a Los Angeles newspaper columnist and adventure writer who, as a single father, faces the challenges of raising his two young kids. Looking to give his family a much needed fresh start, he moves to a home situated in the middle of a zoo, which he and his two children will attempt to bring back to life.
“She passed away (Mee’s wife) but he is still equally in love with her and trying to kind of keep it together,” says Damon. “That really resonated with me. I would be hopeless without Lucy (Damon’s wife of six years).”
Damon tells Anderson that there are things that only a mother can give to her child. “I just see in my wife… the way she can talk to our kids and I am just thankful that she is there.”
The father of four, who says his heart grew five times when he became a dad, tells Anderson that when it comes to disciplining his kids, he’s a “total pushover.’
“You know where your partner is strong and you are weak,” says Damon. “Or where you’re strong and picking up slack for them. It really helps to have two people doing it.”
Damon and his wife, Lucy (Luciana), have a parenting trick he calls “Tag Team Parenting.”
“If you’re burning out… we treat it like tag team wrestling. Where we’re like… ‘tag.’”
Sometimes, as a parent, you need to walk around the block and take a breather. Damon says to his wife, “I am going to go over and get a cup of coffee. I will be back in 20 minutes but I need to get some air. And it’s understood.”
“I like the idea of tag team parenting,” says Anderson.
“We literally say, “tag.” You have to do that.”