Rosie Perez has opened up about what it was like to get coronavirus before the world had declared it a pandemic! In a new interview with Entertainment Tonight, Perez shared that she contracted the illness back in February when it was still relatively unknown— and she happened to be overseas at the time!
Perez says health scare in Thailand was "like a movie"
Perez revealed that while she was in Bangkok filming her new HBO Max series The Flight Attendant, she found herself needing medical attention after coming down with extreme sickness. "I end up being severely ill to the point where they had to bring a doctor on set," the actress explained to Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier.
She also shared that one of her co-stars had been in close contact with her at the time! "Kaley Cuoco, by the way, Instagrammed a picture of me laying on the bed and she joined me to cheer me up and no one had any idea," Perez continued. "The doctor told me I had to be rushed to the emergency room ASAP and when I got there, it was like a movie."
Perez told by ICU doctor to "never take off" her mask
Perez went on to say that doctors didn't have a name for the coronavirus yet, but knew it was a "very serious" illness. "Everybody was all over me and they quarantined me," she shared. "And the head of the ICU said, 'You have this new respiratory tract infection that's coming here from the East and a lot of tourists are getting it when they're flying in and it's been leading to death.'" She then recalled her last words before being admitted into the ICU.
"'Don't let me die in Bangkok. Please call my husband,'" Perez had told her manager. Luckily for her, she was able to be sent home. "They fixed me up as best they could," the actress said, "and I remember the last words that the ICU doctor told me, she said, 'Wherever you go, whoever you encounter, never take off your mask. It's for your protection and for our protection. Don't ever go anywhere without your mask.'"
Perez talks about not being able to hug Cuoco in scene
Perez said that it wasn't until a month later she learned that the mysterious respiratory illness she'd contracted in Thailand had actually been coronavirus! She explained that once the pandemic was declared, the on-set environment of the show changed significantly— which also had an impact on the physical proximity of actors during filming.
"There's a very tender scene between Kaley's character and I later, as the episodes go on, and we should have hugged each other in the scene and we couldn't," Perez shared. "And we both teared up and it worked for the scene, thank goodness. But just like, gosh we can't even touch each other. It was so bizarre but we got through it."
Perez isn't the only actor to have come down with COVID-19 during the early stages of the virus. Aubrey Plaza recently revealed that while filming her holiday movie Happiest Season, several people on set ended up getting sick— including star Kristen Stewart!