Stephen Amell reveals COVID-19 diagnosis, discusses 'mental fear' of ruining show Heels because of it
Amell, 39, recorded an interview with actor Michael Rosenbaum for the Inside of You podcast on Tuesday, Oct. 20. As of that time, he said he stopped work on the wrestling drama, which now films in Atlanta, and went into isolation three weeks earlier after a crew member tested positive. Amell then tested positive "for whatever reason" the following Monday, though he's not sure where he could've gotten it from.
"When it happened, when I got the positive test, for me it became, 'Holy f---! I just destroyed this show because I'm No. 1 on the call sheet and I work every day, more or less…" Amell explained of dealing with the "mental fear" that a positive diagnosis brings. "I'm in my head going, 'S---! They're going to have to shut down the production. We're not yet done with the first block of two episodes. Did I just ruin this?'"
Amell didn't ruin it, however. The actor said "the show shut down for one day" while the crew has been shooting other material around Amell so he can recover. "What they were able to do is mind boggling, quite frankly," he said. "It just goes to show that they were prepared for it, but not everyone has the luxury of taking two weeks off."
Describing his symptoms, Amell said he "never ran a fever," but first noticed he woke up with a plugged ear. "For two nights, I was up every couple of hours vacillating between freezing cold and boiling hot," he continued. "And I would be freezing cold because I sweat through all my stuff. So, I get up, dry off, change my clothes, get back into bed, warm up, and then start sweating again, and the cycle would just [on] repeat."
The actor also describes a loss of appetite that resulted in him losing 15 lbs. over three weeks, and a feeling of dizziness akin to vertigo when he rose into a standing position too fast.
"I've always been really good about mask wearing about social distancing, just following the rules, not going to a huge house party or… super large gatherings where people aren't wearing masks," he said. "But I also haven't been totally afraid of it, which I know certain people are and certain people have the absolute right to be, whether you have a preexisting condition or you're elderly."
The "most difficult part about it," which is also "one of the reasons" Amell wanted to talk about his condition, "is there is a lot of fear-mongering going on about it, and there's a lot of conjecture and there's a lot of people that are basically trying to scare the s--- out of you a little bit."
Heels, from Community's Michael Waldron, stars Amell as Jack, who plays the villain role (the "heel") of the family-owned Duffy Wrestling Association productions. Amell says he went back into the gym prior to his Oct. 20 interview and is hoping to get back to looking like he "can bodyslam James Harrison on our cast who's 285 lbs."
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.