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Rosie Perez appeared on The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, where she revealed that she battled with COVID-19 in November of 2019.
“Hit me like a ton of bricks,” Perez told Noah. “I was feverish, had a horrible cough. It felt like someone was stepping on my chest, I was very lethargic and scared.”
Perez says she caught the virus while filming HBO’s The Flight Attendant when she became ill. She had no idea how sick she was until she visited the hospital.
“It was like a movie,” she said. “I mean, they took my vitals in the waiting room and then all of a sudden all these people came with all the P.P.E. and rushed me in.”
Perez says a physician in Bangkok told her: “It’s a virus that’s going around. We don’t really know what it is and what it does, but it attacks the respiratory system first and then travels to other parts of your body. And I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ It was terrifying. I remember my manager was with me, and I said, ‘Tarik, don’t let me die in Bangkok.’ And he goes, ‘Oh my God, you’re scaring me.’ And the head of the ICU says, ‘You should be scared, sir. This is serious. We’re going to have to put her in a separate room.’ Because it was new.”
The actress went on to describe her feelings of nervousness when returning to the set to film.
“I was very nervous,” she says, “but when I got on set, everything was run so efficiently. I was like, ‘This looks like the movie, Contagion.’ It was bizarre. Standing in line for the COVID test, having hair and makeup with the goggles and the face masks, and then the face shields and the blue emergency room gowns. They took every precaution possible. They were really professional about it, real champs, and put everyone at ease.
“But it was hard. On my last day, I was so emotional. I turned and I looked and Kaley was crying and she hugged the back of me and we were not supposed to do that. And I just turned around and I hugged her. We were both so emotional, I said, ‘Thank you, Kaley. Thank you for convincing me to do this show. I cannot believe how much fun and how much satisfaction I got from this. Thank you.'”