“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," Tom Hanks said in a statement on Facebook

By Ian Horswill


Posted on March 12, 2020

Academy award-winning actor Tom Hanks and his wife, actor Rita Wilson have contracted the coronavirus COVID-19 during their time at the Gold Coast in Australia.

The 63-year-old has been staying with his wife Rita Wilson on the Gold Coast to prepare for the filming of a movie about the life of Elvis Presley. Hanks is playing the role of Colonel Tom Parker, the Dutch-born manager of Presley who turned him into a star in the 1950s.

“Hello, folks. Rita and I are down here in Australia,” Hanks wrote on his Facebook page.

“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.”

Hanks said they learned they had the coronavirus on Wednesday while in Queensland.

“Well, now. What to do next? The Medical Officials have protocols that must be followed,” the actor wrote online. “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.

“Hanx.”

Rita Wilson was interviewed by Australian television station Channel 9 on Monday. She spoke to Today Extra hosts David Campbell and Belinda Russell and the pair have been forced to self-isolate, along with the production crew. Channel 9’s A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw does not want to be in the same studio as Wilson following recent surgery. Karl Stefanovic will fulfill her role. Wilson, a singer/songwriter, performed at the Sydney Opera House on 7 March and at the Emporium Hotel in Brisbane’s South Bank on 5 March.

Hanks and Wilson flew to the Gold Coast on 26 January and was rumoured to be staying at Peppers Broadbeach, which is the building where a Chinese national, a 44-year-old man and one of Australia’s first coronavirus cases, was staying. Hotel group Accor said the Chinese national was a resident at the Oracle building but not a guest at Peppers Broadbeach, which is located in the building. The man had returned from Wuhan and was travelling with his wife and child.

The film, which is being directed by Baz Luhrmann, is set to begin production on Monday.

“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 Brothers said in a statement.

“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 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.”

As at 11am on 11 March 2020, Australia had 112 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), including 3 deaths. Twenty four of the 122 cases have reportedly recovered, said Australia’s Department of Health.