Take the word “horcrux,” swap the Rs, the Cs, and the Us for one A, and what does that spell? It spells “hoax.” Actor Daniel Radcliffe will henceforth be known as the Boy Who Lived Through Fake Coronavirus, after a fake account posing as @BBCNewsTonight tweeted on Tuesday: “BREAKING: Daniel Radcliffe tests positive for coronavirus. The actor is said to be the first famous person to be publicly confirmed,” with a link to the BBC News Alerts page. While the vague phrase “first famous person” should have been the first hint that something was amiss, we are all constantly bombarded with so much news wilder than this that it was a conceivable-enough lie to get circulated until the account shut down.
Radcliffe himself has a great explanation for why people believed it. Calling into the Australian radio show “Smallzy’s Surgery” on Wednesday, Radcliffe explained how he found out that the world thought he had coronavirus: from his makeup artist for the play Endgame, who heard about it from his 17-year-old niece. “I think it’s just because I look ill all the time, so you can believably say it about me, ’cause I’m very pale,” Radcliffe said. There’s a reason why he was cast as a literal corpse in Swiss Army Man.
We’re all happy and relieved that Radcliffe is corona-free, even as he’s fittingly acting in an apocalyptic-feeling Beckett play. Radcliffe’s happy, too. He says he’s “you know, flattered they chose me” to be the first famous person with pretend corona.