Tom Hanks is lifting the curtain on his and wife Rita Wilson’s battle with the coronavirus that sent out global shock waves as they became the first celebrity couple to test positive for the disease last month.
Speaking during a Sunday interview with National Defense Radio Show, Hanks, 63, said he had “some body aches and was very fatigued” during medical isolation in the air-pressurized room of an Australian hospital. Wilson, 63, his wife of 32 years, had more serious symptoms.
“Rita went through a tougher time than I did,” Hanks said. “She had a much higher fever and she had some other symptoms. She lost her sense of taste and smell. She got absolutely no joy from food for a better part of three weeks.”
Hanks said Wilson’s condition, and side-effects from the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine administered for her high fever, led to powerful bouts of nausea.
“She was so nauseous she had to crawl on the floor from the bed to the facilities,” said Hanks, “and it lasted a while.”
Hanks recalled attempting do a regular routine of sit-ups, stretches and floor exercises in the hospital.
“I was wiped after 12 minutes. I laid down in my hospital bed and just slept,” said Hanks.
After a member of the medical team came to check on him, he recalled, “I said, ‘I just had the weirdest thing. I just tried to do basic stretches and exercises on the floor and I couldn’t even get halfway through.’ And she looked at me through her glasses like she was talking to the dumbest human being. And she said, ‘You have COVID-19.’ ”
Hanks says he doesn’t know how he and Wilson contracted the virus while Hanks was in Australia shooting Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley movie. (Hanks will portray manager Col. Tom Parker.) Hanks said most of the hospital isolation was need for monitoring precautions and to ensure he and Wilson did not spread the disease.
After two weeks of isolation, the couple was able to return to their home in Los Angeles, where they have remained.
Hanks stepped out as the first ever host of a remote “Saturday Night Live” from his kitchen last week.