Matt Damon On Why Kissing Costar Scarlett Johansson Was “Hell”

The reason will make you chuckle.

Matt Damon and Scarlett Johannson at the We Bought a Zoo premiere
(Image credit: Getty)

Most men would likely say that kissing Scarlett Johansson (and calling it work) would be just about the exact opposite of hell, but costar Matt Damon said that’s what it was—but not for the reason you might think. (Don’t worry, Damon said—of the kiss itself, that “was really good.”)

While the two were shooting the 2011 movie We Bought a Zoo, Damon “had to smooch Scarlett Johannson after she downed a stinky sandwich,” Page Six reports. Speaking to LADbible, a (we think?) sarcastic Damon said “I had to kiss Scarlett Johannson—can you imagine how horrible that was for me? It was hell!”

He continues “What happened was, we did a shot before lunch, and it was this nice little two-shot that ended in the kiss,” he said. “And it was really good.” Then in comes the stinky food. Thinking they were done with the kissing portion of their filming day, Damon and Johannson went for lunch, where the actress ate, as Page Six so deftly puts it, “a pungent hoagie.” 

Matt Damon at the Oppenheimer premiere

(Image credit: Getty)

“She and I both thought it was over,” Damon said. “She ate, like, an onion sandwich.”

Unbeknownst to them both, they had to pick up where they left off and film the kissing scene once again after they returned from lunch.

“She came in, and [director] Cameron Crowe had set the camera up, and it was, like, a tight shot of the kiss,” Damon said. “She goes, ‘Ahhh, sh—! I literally just had an onion sandwich!”

Scarlett Johannson at the Asteroid City premiere

(Image credit: Getty)

Damon recalled he was “making fun of her” the entire time about her “onion breath,” but that it was all in good fun: “Her breath smells like roses!” he concluded.

Gotta love costars that can laugh together.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.