Vulture: Daniel Radcliffe and Erin Darke on being the first celebrity coronavirus hoax

Vulture was interested in hearing more about the coronavirus hoax that started on Twitter a few weeks ago so Vulture spoke to Daniel and Erin Darke on the phone. I have added a part of the interview below, visit vulture.com for more.

Where are you guys holed up?
Erin Darke: We’re in New York, at Daniel’s apartment. We decided to be super-responsible and self-quarantine so we haven’t stepped out of the apartment in … 11 days?
Radcliffe: We gotta cross that off.

Are you keeping a log?
Radcliffe: We have a little Post-It on the wall that we’re keeping a tally on. There was something about it that just made me laugh, immediately treating it like a prison film. We’re both in the situation where we’ve never been more grateful not to have a kid, or more annoyed that we don’t have a dog. But generally speaking, compared to a lot of people, we are very, very much okay.

Daniel, where were you when you first heard that you had coronavirus?
I was doing a play in London, which obviously had to finish a little early, but at the time we were still doing it. The London theaters carried a week or so longer than most other plays. We’d done the matinee and I went into hair and makeup for the evening show, and the hair and makeup artist, a lovely guy called Rob, turned around with a sort of knowing smile, and he was like, “You’ve got coronavirus.” I was like, “What?! I’m sure I don’t. I just did a play.” And he said, “Yeah, my niece just texted me. She said, ‘Oh, yeah, that dude’s got coronavirus.’” It was very much like, “Watch yourself. I don’t know if you should work with this guy. He’s got coronavirus.”

So I was immediately like, quite amused by it. It’s not the first time I’ve had something crazy written about me. I don’t ever think there’s been a rumor about me that was so topical, that was pivoting off the news. Most of it before has been random stuff that British newspapers have said. So this one was slightly odd. But then you end up having to text a bunch of people saying, “No, I don’t have coronavirus, I’m fine.”

Erin, when did you first hear the rumor?
Darke: I was on a plane back from visiting him. As soon as the plane landed, I turned my phone on and I had all these texts like, “Tell me the internet’s wrong!” “Is Daniel okay?” I was like, “What the fuck is happening?” And finally a couple people texted me, “Oh, it was a hoax, never mind.” But I also had a text from Dan asking what he should do with the Invisalign that I accidentally left in the retainer when I left. I was like, I think he’s okay? [Laughs.]

When you first got all those texts, were you ever worried?
Darke: No, because I’d just seen him that morning. I was just very confused. I was like, He seemed really okay this morning and he’s only texting me about my retainer, so if that’s his way of letting me know he has corona, we need to work on our communication.

When did you finally get on the phone and talk about it?
Darke: So you were already asleep when I’d landed, so I didn’t get to talk to you about it till the next day. But I spent an evening texting people back, like, “I think he’s fine!”
Radcliffe: Didn’t I text you about it, being like, “There’s this thing going around?”
Darke: [Laughs.] No!
Radcliffe: Oh, sorry.
Darke: You literally only texted me about my retainer.
Radcliffe: I thought I’d mentioned that. I did know about it at that point.

Wait, so you already knew about the hoax but just didn’t mention it to her?
Radcliffe: I think I was like, filing it under — Erin and I have been together long enough that she also knows weird stuff gets written about me occasionally. It wasn’t really until the next day, until I did a round of phone interviews, that it was like, “This has been taken seriously by more people than it should have.” I spent the whole morning just having to tell journalists that I did not have coronavirus. And it was maybe only a day later that Tom Hanks said he had it.
Darke: When I talked to you the next day I was like, “It’s a crazy hoax, partially because it could have been true. At some point, someone will be the first famous person to have it.” And it was like, eight hours later that Tom Hanks came out.
Radcliffe: The original tweet was something like, “Daniel Radcliffe becomes the first famous person to get coronavirus.” And I was like, That’s such a weird distinction. Surely the first person to get coronavirus is the first famous person to get coronavirus.

Why do you think you were selected as the first celebrity pandemic Twitter hoax, perhaps ever?
Radcliffe: I think most of it, and they said as much, was that I’m not on social media. So I wouldn’t see it or be able to respond to it quick enough to flatten it, so it’d get a few hours of time to germinate before anyone was able to shut it down.
Darke: Also I think it’s because you’re not a dramatic celebrity. You’re not in the news for crazy shit. So it feels more believable when there’s something dramatic.
Radcliffe: Maybe, but I feel like it could’ve been someone like Charlie Sheen and still been a massive story.
Darke: I love that Charlie Sheen is where you went for “dramatic.”
Radcliffe: My mind went to other places first but I didn’t want to say. He’s someone everyone can agree is dramatic.

source: vulture.com

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