Rosie Perez Details "Terrifying" Experience of Contracting COVID-19

The actress said production for HBO Max's 'The Flight Attendant' temporarily shut down following her diagnosis.

Rosie Perez is reflecting on her terrifying experience of contracting the novel coronavirus last December.

In an interview with Uproxx published Monday, the 56-year-old actress revealed that she was in the middle of filming HBO Max's The Flight Attendant when production had to shut down after she was diagnosed with COVID-19.

"I had told everybody, 'We’re going to get shut down.' I had contracted COVID when we flew to Bangkok," she said. She explained that at the time COVID-19 was an unknown virus so it was being described as a "new respiratory tract infection."

She said at time no one knew what the virus was and the symptoms other than "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."

She recalled pleading with her manager to not let her "die in Bangkok" and the doctor informing both of them that they should be frightened over the virus. "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 said that the doctor kept reiterating the importance of wearing a mask to protect others from the new virus. During the time she was battling COVID-19, she reflected on how much of an ordeal it was to have production shut down.

"We got shut down and it was tough because it was a good gig for a lot of hard-working people. Every single month everyone was asking, 'Are we going back? Are we going back? What’s going to happen to the show?'"

Perez praised star Kaley Cuoco for being "the only person who remained steadfast. "She kept saying, 'Just relax, Rose. We’re going to go back. I know HBO believes in this, just relax.'"

When production for The Flight Attendant continued, the actress admitted she felt "very nervous" to return to set. However, she felt content after realizing "everything was run so efficiently."

"I was like, 'This looks like the movie, Contagion.' It was bizarre," she said. "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."

She did admit that the most difficult part of working again was "waiting for the COVID results." "Every single day, you go to work, we had to get tested — even the days we weren’t working. So, that was stressful."