Minnie Driver Reveals What She Would Have Told Her Younger Self After Her Breakup With Matt Damon

“I want to wrap my arms around that young woman and hug her…”

Minnie Driver Reveals What She Would Have Told Her Younger Self After Her Breakup With Matt Damon
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Actress Minnie Driver is opening up about her decades-old breakup with actor Matt Damon and what she wishes she could go back and tell her former self.

On Thursday, while appearing on an episode of The Jennifer Hudson Show, the Circle of Friends star discussed the moment she made headlines after commenting on her sad expression highlighted on a throwback clip of Damon winning Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting at the Oscars in 1998.

Driver and Damon were both nominated for awards and attended the 1998 Oscars. Driver revealed that Damon had "ended our relationship a few weeks before" the award show and brought his "new gf" as his guest.

"I wish I could have told her, ‘Honey it’s cool, you can celebrate and life’s gonna be great and beautiful and hard and amazing,’ ” Driver said. “'You’re going to love again, it’ll be fine.’ ”

Minnie Driver and Matt Damon at the 1998 Oscars.

Minnie Driver and Matt Damon at the 1998 Oscars.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Driver went on to share that she was "devastated" at the time, which is why she looked so unhappy on camera as her ex and his Good Will Hunting co-star, Ben Affleck, gave their acceptance speech.

“We’d recently broken up, I was nominated, he was nominated,” Driver explained. “He had a new girlfriend, I was totally heartbroken.”

"(I) Wish I could have celebrated more as it was an amazing moment for all of us, and for this wonderful film!" she added.

After watching the Instagram video of her reaction to Damon and Affleck on stage, Driver commented: "My little face."

"I want to wrap my arms around that young woman and hug her and go, ‘It’s all going to be fine honey, don’t worry,'" she added.

Driver and Damon met while filming the 1997 film Good Will Hunting and dated for a year before ending their relationship ahead of the 1998 Academy Awards.

“I think it’s like anyone who’s been heartbroken can understand, it’s like the last thing you want is everybody having a window in on that and it was so public," Driver said.

"So when I commented, it was just I saw the clip, I hadn’t seen the clip,” she continued. “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen it. I’d never seen my face. The reaction when they won and they cut to me because there was a camera right in the face of the poor young 25-year-old girl, who’s about to burst into tears."

Danielle Campoamor
Weekend Editor

Danielle Campoamor is Marie Claire's weekend editor covering all things news, celebrity, politics, culture, live events, and more. In addition, she is an award-winning freelance writer and former NBC journalist with over a decade of digital media experience covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mortality, gun violence, climate change, politics, celebrity news, culture, online trends, wellness, gender-based violence and other feminist issues. You can find her work in The New York Times, Washington Post, TIME, New York Magazine, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, TODAY, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, Prism, Newsweek, Slate, HuffPost and more. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their two feral sons. When she is not writing, editing or doom scrolling she enjoys reading, cooking, debating current events and politics, traveling to Seattle to see her dear friends and losing Pokémon battles against her ruthless offspring. You can find her on X, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and all the places.