How do you make a big lug like Ben Affleck go all warm and fuzzy? Ask him about the new woman in his life: his 6-month-old daughter Violet.
On May 9 the Cambridge, Mass., native poked his head into Cataloni’s, a Boston neighborhood bar, while scouting locations for his directorial debut, Gone, Baby, Gone
. And fan Dawn Pirone couldn't resist asking him about his first child. "His face lit up like a Christmas tree," Pirone tells PEOPLE in its new issue. "He said, 'She's beautiful.'"
He's not the only one feeling the love. Pals say Affleck, 33, and wife Jennifer Garner, 34, are reveling in raising little Violet – especially now that the family is nesting in Cambridge for the summer while Affleck shoots Gone
, a detective thriller based on the 1998 novel by Dennis Lehane.
"Ben enjoys playing daddy," says a friend. "He's in love with his little girl."
And while teething is "a little uncomfortable for her," Violet "is delightful," adds a friend of Garner's. "She is just the apple of their eye – beautiful and happy."
As for her proud dad, he's not missing his swinging Hollywood bachelorhood much. "That's all behind him," says Gone
producer Alan Ladd Jr. "Now he’s very serious-minded. He goes to bed early these days and gets up early."
Pal Peter Berg, who is directing Garner’s upcoming action thriller The Kingdom
, says Affleck’s newfound maturity enabled him to write the script for Gone
and take the director’s chair (the movie also stars his younger brother Casey). "There’s a maturity about him now," says Berg. "His life is taking him in a new direction that’s going to be really satisfying."
Nicolas Cage has bought a 40-acre-plus island in the Bahamas that had been on the market for $3 million.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the island could be developed, although it is now untouched. Cage had no comment.
The property, located near an island owned by Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, is about 85 miles southeast of Nassau and is part of the Exuma archipelago of some 365 islands in the southern Bahamas.
The Leaving Las Vegas
Oscar winner, 42, also has a home on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Last year he sold his Malibu house for close to $10 million.
Cage joins the ranks of other celebrity island-owners, including his good friend Johnny Depp, who owns a Caribbean isle, and the late Marlon Brando, who lived on a private island in Tahiti. (Brando starred in The Godfather
and Apocalypse Now
, both directed by Cage's uncle, Francis Ford Coppola.)
Cage and wife Alice, 22, welcomed their first child in October, a boy named Kal-el Coppola Cage. Kal-el is Superman's Kryptonian birth name. Source: