Idris Elba talks coronavirus diagnosis with Oprah: 'I felt compelled to tell people this is really real'
The British actor spoke to Oprah Winfrey while quarantined in New Mexico, where he had been shooting the Netflix original film The Harder They Fall, as part of her new Apple TV+ series Oprah Talks: COVID-19.
"I could be in the public. I could be at home amongst my family. I could be still be spreading it and I have no symptoms," Elba said. "I think that... the doctor explained to me that possibly I had symptoms and didn't realize it. When I met him, I had some headaches, a little bit of an achy body. I put that down to A. being in a higher altitude and B. traveling a lot. I just finished another job five or ten days prior and was moving on to this job. I didn't have much of a break in between and typically, one gets run down, gets tired and those were the symptoms of that. But I had no real symptoms as it pertains to COVID."
Elba confirmed he hasn't experienced any major symptoms and that his temperature hasn't gone above 98 degrees, which is within the normal range. Mentally he feels "pretty focused" thanks to the forced rest he's undergoing while in quarantine. He also opened up about why he decided to share his diagnosis with the world.
"Listen, COVID-19 has come to a sort of pressure point now but for the last two weeks, it's been a talking point. I really felt that a lot of the people just didn't know what was gonna come, what was happening. It didn't really feel relatable. There were a bunch of theories going around: it's a conspiracy! Is it even real? When I got tested and it came back positive, it became very real. It was always real for me but it became very real. And I felt compelled to tell people that this is very real."
Elba's wife Sabrina also made an appearance during the video chat, confirming she has also tested positive for the illness.
For the latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19), including how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you are sick, please visit coronavirus.gov.