Actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have tested positive for the new coronavirus in Australia, a country with at least 128 cases and three deaths from COVID-19. Hanks is in Australia preparing to shoot a new biopic about Elvis Presley and it’s not clear if he contracted the disease in Australia or the U.S., where there are now over 1,300 confirmed cases and 38 deaths.
Hanks and Wilson, both 63 years old, experienced body aches and fevers before they decided to get tested for the new coronavirus. Hanks released a statement on Instagram about the diagnosis, complete with a photo of a lone glove in a waste basket:
Hello, folks. Rita and I are down here in Australia. We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus, and were found to be positive.
Well, now. What to do next? The Medical Officials have protocols that must be followed. We Hanks’ will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires. Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no?
We’ll keep the world posted and updated.
Take care of yourselves!
Hanks and Wilson are being treated in the state of Queensland, which currently has 22 known cases of COVID-19. Hanks has reportedly been in Australia since late January for pre-production on the Warner Bros. film, but there are conflicting reports about when Rita Wilson first arrived in the country.
Wilson performed songs at Brisbane’s Emporium Hotel last week and the Sydney Opera House over the weekend. She also taped an interview with a local TV station on Monday, which is now following protocols for possible exposure, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Wilson was supposed to perform in South Korea until recently when those dates were cancelled over the country’s high rates of coronavirus infection. South Korea currently has at least 7,869 cases of the disease and 66 deaths, according to an online tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University.
The still untitled Elvis movie is being directed by Baz Lurhmann, an Australian who is known for films like Moulin Rouge, The Great Gatsby, and Romeo + Juliet. Lurhmann often shoots his films in Australia.
Hanks is playing Elvis Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parks, in the new film. Austin Butler plays Elvis Presley and Olivia DeJonge plays his wife Priscilla Presley. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Elvis’s mother Gladys Presley and Rufus Sewell plays his father, Vernon Presley.
Hanks is the only person to have tested positive for the disease on the film, according to Variety, but it’s not yet clear if any other actors, producers, and members of the crew have been screened.
“We have been made aware that a company member from our Elvis feature film, which is currently in pre-production in The Gold Coast, Australia, has tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus),” Warner Bros. said in a statement to Variety.
“We are working closely with the appropriate Australian health agencies to identify and contact anyone who may have come in direct contact with the individual,” the statement said, referring to Hanks. “The health and safety of our company members is always our top priority, and we are taking precautions to protect everyone who works on our productions around the world. The individual who tested positive for COVID-19 is currently receiving treatment.”
Pre-production on the new film has been halted, according to the Hollywood Reporter.