Idris Elba and his wife, Sabrina Dhowre, have both tested positive for COVID-19. The couple join the list of celebrities, which also includes Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Olga Kurylenko and Kristofer Hivju, who have opened up about being diagnosed with the virus.
In an interview with both subjects speaking from home, Oprah Winfrey interviewed Idris Elba and Sabrina about the realities of coronavirus.
The item was for Winfrey's new Apple TV+ series 'Oprah Talks COVID-19'. It marks the first time Elba has discussed his diagnosis since posting the news on social media last week.
The actor initially spoke about how he is still exhibiting no symptoms for the virus and that he "feels fine". He also spoke about his concerns of having passed it on unknowingly to his son, nanny, friends and mother.
Elba is now quarantined in New Mexico where he was due to start filming a movie. He said he has been “avoiding the mainstream media” but trusted Winfrey to take a “journalistic” approach to their interview.
“Had I not been on a film set, I don’t think I would have been able to get a test as easily as I did,” Elba said, acknowledging the special treatment that celebrities have been receiving during the crisis.
The actor also spoke of there being “conspiracy theories” about the virus, but he thinks “the media” are “scaremongering” and being overly “dramatic”.
Sabrina Dhowre actually revealed during the interview that she has also tested positive for the coronavirus. She found out just hours before Oprah's call.
“I could have made the decision to put myself, maybe, in a separate room or stay away, and I’m sure that people are making those decisions. And they’re tough decisions to make,” she said. “But I made the decision to want to be with him and, you know, still touch him.”
Elba added: “I do feel a sense of responsibility, to everyone I've met, to everyone I've been exposed to here. I was speaking to some of my colleagues and I was expressing that 'listen man, I feel like I partly put you in this predicament.' And as a testament of who these people were and how good they are, they said 'no dude, we're in this together, there's no way you could have prevented that.' And it really underlined what I was talking about about humanity, caring for each other. It just made me feel so good, these people didn't hold me accountable.”
He also said: “Our world has been taking a kicking. We damaged our world, and it’s no surprise that our world is reacting to the human race. It’s no surprise that a virus has been created that will slow us down, and ultimately make us think differently about our world, and ourselves. This is almost like the world’s cry-out, like, hey, hey, hey, you’re kicking me. What you’re doing is not good. So [what] any organism would do is try to get rid of an infection, so maybe this is it for the world.”
You can watch extracts from the interview below:
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Like millions of people all over the world, I've been staying safer at home for over a week now. I know a lot of people are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and uncertain. Because of that, I wanted to offer some hope and gather thought leaders and people going through it to add some perspective. Which is why I FaceTimed Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina who are safely quarantined together after he tested positive for COVID-19. Idris fills me in on his journey and Sabrina reveals the result of her test after they decided to quarantine together. Tap the link in my bio to watch our conversation for FREE on the Apple TV app (on your phone) or visit apple.co/oprahtalks