While promoting his latest film Greyhound in an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian, actor Tom Hanks admitted that he’s never been particularly obsessed with death, not even in the face of the coronavirus. His comments are quite remarkable, too, not only because the virus has infected over thirteen million people worldwide already, but also because Hanks himself was, at one point in time, included in that number.
While filming a project in Australia earlier this spring, he and his wife Rita Wilson both tested positive for the virus. As international travel bans were put in place, the two stayed behind on the island continent, where they eventually recovered. Hanks was one of the first celebrities to be stricken by the virus, and news of his infection helped much of the western world understand the serious problem that this still-infantile pandemic poses.
Although Hanks and Wilson eventually recovered, many celebrities were not as lucky. Over the course of the year, the virus has claimed the lives of such people as Adam Schlesinger, Ellis Marsalis Jr. and John Prine, among many, many others.
Since Hanks is over 60 years old and suffers from numerous health complications, he falls under a high risk group. As such, it’s rather surprising that he faced his predicament so calmly. But according to the actor, he doesn’t worry too much about these things.
“When we were in the hospital, I said: ‘I’m 63, I have type 2 diabetes, I had a stent in my heart – am I a red flag case?’ But as long as our temperatures did not spike, and our lungs did not fill up with something that looked like pneumonia, they were not worried. I’m not one who wakes up in the morning wondering if I’m going to see the end of the day or not. I’m pretty calm about that.”
Despite the odds, Hanks only suffered mild symptoms and recovered relatively quickly. And ever since he returned to the United States, the actor has been open about his experience, trying his best to give unaffected Americans a better impression of what the virus can do to them.
Over the course of quarantine, Hanks has stayed pretty busy, too. Aside from promoting Greyhound, he’s also hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live and attended a Splash reunion organized by fellow entertainer Josh Gad. And now that he’s back to full health, we imagine we’ll be seeing a lot more of him in the coming months.