After recovering from Covid-19 last month, Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have donated their blood for coronavirus vaccine research, according to an interview with the actor in a new episode of NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! podcast.
“A lot of the question is, what now? What do we do now? Is there something we can do? And, in fact, we just found out that we do carry the antibodies,” Indie Wire quoted Hanks as saying. The Cast Away star and Wilson had tested positive for coronavirus in March, while in Australia shooting Baz Luhrmann’s untitled Elvis Presley biopic.
After returning to the United States, Hanks and Wilson participated in a medical study to see if their antibodies would be helpful to scientists working on the vaccine. “We have not only been approached, we have said, ‘Do you want our blood? Can we give plasma?’ And, in fact, we will be giving it now to the places that hope to work on what I would like to call the ‘Hank-cine’,” the actor added, jokingly.
Hanks also said that his Wilson’s experience with Covid-19 was far worse than his. “Rita went through a tougher time than I did. She had a much higher fever and she had some other symptoms,” he recalled. “She lost her sense of taste and smell. She got absolutely no joy from food for a better part of three weeks. She was so nauseous, she had to crawl on the floor from the bed to the facilities. It lasted a while…”
Last week, Luhrmann also spoke to Deadline about the climate on the set of his film after Hanks and Wilson made the announcement, seemingly changing America’s perspective on coronavirus and making it feel very real, suddenly.
“If there was anything good about it, the very best thing that came out of it was when someone like Tom Hanks got it. I noticed that globally, and particularly in America — and we live in New York — suddenly everyone went, ‘this is real’. He became an advertisement for it,” Luhrmann said.
“I was in my house and we were locked down entirely. A team turned up in hazmat suits and we were tested. We wouldn’t have been immediately infectious — you have to see if you have symptoms — but poor Tom and Rita! They were in the hospital and we were locked down in quarantine.”
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