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Tom Hanks: ‘When I had coronavirus, my bones felt like they were made of soda crackers’

Click to play video 'Tom Hanks details COVID-19 illness on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’' Tom Hanks details COVID-19 illness on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’
WATCH ABOVE: Tom Hanks details his battle with COVID-19 on 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert' – Jul 15, 2020

In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Tom Hanks, the American actor, made an appearance on The Late Show to talk to host Stephen Colbert about the new Apple TV+ exclusive film Greyhound — in which he both wrote and starred.

While promoting the acclaimed war film, Hanks, who turned 64 last week, recounted his own experiences with the novel coronavirus, after he and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for it back in early March, while he was working on the upcoming Elvis Presley biopic, Elvis, in Australia.

The Toy Story star said that while recuperating from COVID-19, he “had bones that felt like they were made out of soda crackers” and that “every time (he) moved around, (he) felt like something was cracking inside” of him.

Expanding on that, Hanks asked Colbert, 56, if he had ever experienced “a really sore butt,” with a laugh.

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Click to play video 'Coronavirus outbreak: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson test positive for COVID-19' Coronavirus outbreak: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson test positive for COVID-19
Coronavirus outbreak: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson test positive for COVID-19 – Mar 11, 2020

“Yes, I have,” said the much-beloved TV host with a smile.

Helping Colbert to visualize the pain, Hanks compared it to that, saying, “It felt like your older brother had held you down and just kept fisting you in the buttocks until you said something like ‘I love Flipper,'” in reference to the 1960s TV show about a bottlenose dolphin.

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“Well, I finally said ‘I love Flipper,’ but it felt like my butt was still just so sore,” added the two-time Academy Award-winning actor.

“I will never watch the TV show Flipper in the same way now,” joked Colbert.

“This tells you something about the relationship between me and my older brother,” quipped Hanks.

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Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Nov. 7, 2018, in Los Angeles, Calif.
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Nov. 7, 2018, in Los Angeles, Calif. David Livingston/Getty Images

Though the Forrest Gump actor said that both he and Wilson, 63, had experienced “crushing fatigue” for “eight (or) nine days,” he noted that a lot of their COVID-19 symptoms were wildly different.

Though Wilson did not experience the same body aches as her husband, Hanks said that she had “horrible nausea.”

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Hanks also looked back at a “delicious” takeout meal he and Wilson had while self-isolating together in Queensland, Australia, saying that though he could taste the food, his wife could not.

He said: “It was savoury goodness. It had butter sauces, it had come from a highly recommended joint and she was saying, ‘This tastes like oatmeal to me,’ and I thought she was insane.

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“That was before that was known to be a thing,” Hanks added of the now-common COVID-19 symptom of losing the ability to taste foods properly.

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The longtime couple became two of the first celebrities to reveal they had contracted the life-threatening illness and stayed in a Queensland hospital together for five days, before isolating in the city and returning to Los Angeles, Calif., after making a full recovery weeks later.

Back in April, Hanks and Wilson donated their blood to help medical researchers develop a vaccine to fight COVID-19.

Read more: Grant Imahara, ‘MythBusters’ and ‘White Rabbit Project’ host, dies at 49

The Cast Away actor spoke on the NPR Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! podcast about their participation in donations, saying: “We just found out that we do carry the antibodies.

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“We have not only been approached, we have said, ‘Do you want our blood? Can we give plasma?’ And, in fact, we will be giving it now to the places that hope to work on what I would like to call the Hanks-ccine,” Hanks said.

Wilson previously said doctors have told her she could be “immune” to the novel coronavirus now that she’s had it.

Following up on the couple’s plasma donations, Colbert asked Hanks if he was the “Omega man” and if he will “cure all of us.”

“I’m hoping that they will take just a thimble of my plasma and from that, they will create the Hanks-ccine … copyright,” Hanks joked.

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Read more: Stephen Colbert mocks Trump’s push to reopen schools during COVID-19 spike

Of donating plasma, Hanks said, “I thought it was like giving blood. I thought that you go in and they hook you up to, essentially, the world’s most complicated-looking Slurpee machine and I thought that they took the blood out.

“They take the blood out,” he said, “but then they put it right back in.”

He continued: “So they’re taking the plasma out of your blood, so you’re not losing any blood, you’re essentially losing moisture, water, liquid, the plasma that is in your blood. I did it twice and there’s no discomfort to it.”

“But then what happens to the Hanks-ccine?” said Colbert, before asking if his plasma could help make others immune.

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Hanks said that each sample would be split between four different people and that those people “do get better, according to some studies.”

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On the other hand, Hanks said that he and his wife’s “antibody numbers have diminished over time” and that they may not be immune.

Read more: Tom Hanks weighs in on coronavirus protocols: ‘Shame on you’ if you don’t wear a mask

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

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For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

— With files from Global News’ Katie Scott

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca