Rita Wilson Opens Up About How Tom Hanks, Larry David Reacted to Cancer Diagnosis
The 'Fish in the Dark' actress talks about preparing for surgery and what it was like returning to her Broadway play after taking a month off to deal with her health issues.
Fish in the Dark star Rita Wilson returned to the Broadway stage on Tuesday after taking a month off from the Larry David play to deal with her early breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent double mastectomy.
“It felt surreal in the sense that all these changes had happened and yet it felt like it was yesterday," Wilson told the New York Times the following morning, “It was so much fun. I had adrenaline coursing through me like never before. In a way, it was like a second opening night.”
The actress opened up to The Times about how her husband Tom Hanks and Fish in the Dark co-stars — including David, who also wrote the play — dealt with her news. Wilson recently revealed that she was diagnosed with "invasive lobular carcinoma" and underwent a double mastectomy.
When she told David, she recalled to The Times, he had a dramatic reaction, sinking down in his seat and putting his head in his hands.
“He went, ‘Oh God, Oh God, Oh God,’ ” Wilson said. “He practically went white. I told him, ‘Larry, I’m going to be absolutely fine.’ ”
Indeed, Wilson said when she revealed with her diagnosis that she was expected to make a full recovery, partly because she caught it early. She told The Times she was reluctant to go public with the news but wanted to convey the importance of getting a second opinion, as she did, after an early test showed she didn't have cancer.
“For me, this is about telling people, ‘You can get a second opinion — your insurance will pay for it, even Obamacare, God bless it, will pay for it,’ ” she told The Times. “It’s so easy to say, ‘I’m just being paranoid,’ but you should trust your gut.”
Wilson said she and Hanks spent the time before the surgery at home watching movies, including a bunch of Oscar screeners they had received but hadn't watched.
She gushed about Hanks' support, saying “Who knew it would make you even closer?” she said.
“You never know how your spouse is going to react in a situation like this,” she added. “I was so amazed, so blown away by the care my husband gave me. It was such a normal, intimate time.”
David, despite his publicly standoffish persona, was also particularly supportive, Wilson said, recalling that her co-stars kept her in the loop about what happened during the shows she missed.
"You don’t think of Larry David as a person who would be this way, but he’s incredibly empathetic," she said.
Wilson is currently preparing for reconstructive surgery, she tells the Times, having a tissue expander inserted in her chest to make room for new breasts.
Meanwhile, Wilson is keeping busy with various projects. The singer is releasing a new album in the fall with tentative plans to go on tour and will be reprising her role as Marnie's mother on the fifth season of HBO's Girls, among other things.