Hollywood megastar Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have tested positive for the new coronavirus while in Australia for a film project, the Oscar-winning US actor revealed Thursday.
Hanks and Wilson, both 63, are in isolation at the Gold Coast University Hospital after being confirmed with the disease, Queensland state health officials said.
Hanks is the first major Hollywood star to publicly state that he has the virus, which has sickened more than 125,000 people worldwide and killed more than 4,600.
In a message to fans, Hanks said the couple had felt slightly ill and wanted to get tested to “play things right.”
“Hello folks, Rita and I are down here in Australia. We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches,” Hanks posted on Instagram and Twitter.
“To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the coronavirus, and were found to be positive,” he said.
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) March 12, 2020
“We Hanks will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires,” the “Saving Private Ryan” star said.
“We’ll keep the world posted and updated,” he added, along with a photo of a surgical glove placed inside a biohazard trash bag.
In a video message the Hanks’ son, Chet, said, “I just got off the phone with them, they both are fine, they’re not even that sick.”
“They’re not worried about it, they’re not tripping but they’re going through the necessary health precautions obviously,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s anything to be too worried about but I appreciate everyone’s concerns and well wishes, but I think it’s going to be alright.”
– Elvis biopic –
Hanks was on the Gold Coast for pre-production of an Elvis Presley biopic by Australian director Baz Luhrmann in which the actor portrays the legendary singer’s longtime manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
It is believed the couple had been staying at a nearby luxury hotel.
Work on the film has been halted following the diagnosis.
“We have been made aware that a company member from our Elvis feature film… has tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus),” Warner Bros said in a statement to AFP, which did not identify Hanks.
“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.”
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said Hanks was “tested early this morning, very early, and once everyone was in the news was delivered by Baz and then everyone went home.”
“All the people who were on set have gone home and self-quarantined, which includes my daughter so I gave her a call… Being a dad that was the first thing I got onto,” Tate said.
“If the test comes back negative, they’ll be back to work that’s where they’re sitting.”
It is not known where the couple contracted the disease — there have so far been more than 140 coronavirus cases confirmed in Australia and three people have died.
Wilson — a singer-songwriter — gave performances at a Brisbane hotel on March 5 and the Sydney Opera House on March 7.
During the visit to Australia’s largest city, the couple also visited Bondi Beach. It is unknown whether they had contracted the virus by that point.