NEW YORK (AP) — Since contracting COVID-19 in March, Tom Hanks has been, by most measures, busy. He and his wife, Rita Wilson, flew home after recuperating in Australia, where he had been shooting Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley film. He hosted a from-home episode of “Saturday Night Live,” an already distant enough memory that it takes a beat for him to remember it. And he saw his new World War II naval drama “Greyhound” steered from theatrical release by Sony Pictures to Apple TV+ — the streaming service’s biggest movie yet.
But he’s mostly been taking it day by day.
“There’s sort of an ongoing physiological maintenance for your brain and for your body that we’ve been following through,” Hanks says, speaking by video conference from his home in California. “What can you do but try to bind up the hay in neat little bundles. That’s what we’ve been doing. Just going into the barn with the baling machine, saying, ’Well, we got all this hay. Let’s at least stack it up and get it ready for the next day.”
For many, Hanks’ contraction of COVID-19 was the first loud alarm bell that went off in the early days of the pandemic. If “America’s Dad” could get it, so could anyone. The decision to go public with their diagnoses, Hanks said in a recent interview, was twofold. He didn’t want any rumors about why the production was shut down. And if he was going to serve as an overdue public service announcement, so be it.
“Why hide from the facts?” he says. “These were the facts.”
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