Film

Rosie Perez Recalls Contracting COVID-19, Stalling ‘The Flight Attendant’ Filming

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
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It seems that one by one, celebrities are coming forward with their own personal Coronavirus scares. Most recently, Rosie Perez revealed that she contracted COVID-19 early in the year and the production on HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant, which she co-stars alongside Kaley Cuoco, had to shut down because of it.

In an interview with Uproxx, Perez called the experience “terrifying.” The Brooklyn native said that they were in the middle of filming the sixth episode when the production had to shut down. “I had contracted COVID when we flew to Bangkok,” she detailed. “And at that time, they were saying it’s a new respiratory tract infection. 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.”

Perez contracted the virus before it took over the world, and the experience made her initially nervous to go back to set. However, her concerns were quickly lifted when she saw how “efficiently” the production team ran COVID-19 safety protocols on set. “They took every precaution possible. They were really professional about it, real champs, and put everyone at ease. But it was hard.”

She channeled her anxiety into her role, but one thing her role couldn’t undo? The memory of being stereotyped as a drug mule on a first class flight in her early acting days.

“I remember the first time I traveled abroad ever,” she said. “I was a choreographer. It was my first flight to Heathrow airport, and I got pulled over and had to get body checked. They thought I was a fucking mule, carrying drugs. It was like, ‘Hello, check your racism.”