Daniel Radcliffe is speaking out for the first time about the claim that he has contracted the coronavirus amid a global pandemic. The Harry Potter actor became the subject of a Twitter hoax after a fake news outlet purporting to be the BBC with the handle @BBCNewsTonight shared a fake story that Radcliffe had tested positive for COVID-19, claiming he was the first celebrity to be confirmed to have the illness.
Shortly after the tweet made its rounds and was debunked as fake, Radcliffe opened up about being the subject of the hoax on Australian radio show Smallzy's Surgery, saying, "I walked into the hair and makeup room on a play yesterday, and the makeup artist was like, 'My niece has just texted me and told me you've got corona.' I think it was on a fake BBC account, but then enough people saw it. That is the internet."
He joked, "I think it's just because I look ill all the time, so you can believably say it about me. 'Cause I'm very pale. But, you know, flattered they chose me."
The first major celebrities to test positive for the coronavirus were actually Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson, who revealed last week that they had undergone the testing in Australia, where Hanks is in pre-production for the upcoming Elvis Presley biopic. The couple has since been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.
Idris Elba also revealed Monday that he had tested positive for the illness, but had yet to experience any symptoms. He credited Hanks for speaking so publicly about his diagnosis, which the Cats actor said helped motivate him to also be transparent.
"I'm really proud of Tom Hanks who's also someone in the public eye... I was definitely motivated by Tom's move there, but also I think, there's some transparency given to the situation when someone like Tom or myself is in this situation," he explained on Instagram Live. "I'm worried that people aren't talking to each other about it, I'm worried that people are going to stigmatize other people, I'm worried that we're gonna panic and send the whole world into a spin."
As they isolate themselves, Elba added both he and wife Sabrina Dhowre Elba are "doing good."
"More than anything," he added, "just talking about it with you guys has kept us a little bit more... optimistic. We at one point we were [thinking], 'Our lives are over. This is it. This is how we kick it,' but at the same time realizing that the more we look at coronavirus and realize that it is a virus like many others that the human race survived... nobody knows too much about this virus. So, we felt a lot more optimistic that more people were talking about it and what their experiences [were]. And now we definitely want to be vocal and transparent."
Photo credit: Jason Merritt / Staff, Getty0comments