Idris Elba Praises Tom Hanks For Speaking Up About COVID-19

Idris Elba as Luther.

The number of celebrities being diagnosed with the coronavirus is steadily increasing, with The Bachelor’s Colton Underwood and Younger’s Debi Mazar among the latest to contract it. This group also includes Idris Elba, who initially took to social media to announce the news. While it has been an ordeal for him, the actor has been spreading information about the virus and is now sharing his experience.

Idris Elba recently appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s Apple TV+ talk show, Oprah Talks COVID-19, during which he spoke in depth about the disease and the public’s perception of it:

COVID-19 has come to a sort of pressure point right now but for the last two weeks, it's been a talking point and I really felt that a lot of people didn't know what was going to come ... It didn't really feel relatable. There were a bunch of theories going around: It's a conspiracy! Is it even real. And when I got tested and it came back positive, it became very real.

Elba also took a moment to acknowledge fellow actor Tom Hanks for being one of the first celebrities to speak out about being diagnosed. Believe it or not, it was actually Hanks’ actions that encouraged Elba to say something:

Tom being in a – I suppose – a high risk category, while being on set on a film, came out immediately, which was the right thing to do, 100%. Film sets are incubators, essentially ... I think Tom definitely did the right thing ... I spoke to my wife about it and said, 'I really think I should say something' and she said, 'Yeah, let's do it.'

It can’t be easy for Elba to be sharing all of this with publicly, but he should be applauded for it. His situation can serve as a means of both informing people who are still learning about the disease and as a comforting hand to those who have been diagnosed and are struggling with it.

Tom Hanks, in particular, has been extremely candid since he and his wife, Rita Wilson, were diagnosed while in Australia. Following the revelation, he’s made it a priority to share updates through his social media accounts, and many of them have been delightful to say the least.

More importantly, Hanks is making a difference by making sure people are in the loop regarding treatment and care and, as a result, he’s inspiring people to do more. His good friend Kevin Bacon is one of the people that’s aiming to take his lead.

Other stars like Rachel Matthews and Debi Mazar have also encouraged their fanbases to stay informed and do what they can to keep themselves healthy. Idris Elba, Tom Hanks and their colleagues unfortunately won’t be the last celebrities to contract the coronavirus, and we at CinemaBlend will do our best to keep you updated as news arrives.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.