Tom Hanks has helped to put a smile on the face of a bullied Australian boy named Corona by gifting him with a retro typewriter from his own collection.
The Toy Story star has become pen pals with Queensland resident Corona De Vries after the eight-year-old kid reached out following the news of Hanks’ COVID-19 diagnosis last month (Mar20).
The 63 year old and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, had been Down Under when they both fell ill and had to be hospitalised for treatment, so De Vries decided to write to Hanks to check on his wellbeing, sending a letter asking, “Are you OK?”
In the note, the child explained how he had been subjected to rude taunts from his classmates, who had branded him “the coronavirus”, which had left him feeling “sad and angry”, according to Australia’s Channel 7.
On 10 April (20), De Vries received a reply from Hanks, reading, “Your letter made my wife and I feel so wonderful!”
“You’re the only person I’ve ever known to have the name Corona – like the ring around the sun, a crown,” he continued.
The correspondence was included inside a box containing Hanks’ retro Corona typewriter, which the noted collector had happened to pack for his trip to Australia.
“I thought this typewriter would suit you,” the star explained to De Vries. “Ask a grown up how it works. And use it to write me back.”
Referencing his Toy Story character Woody’s famous line, Hanks added, “P.S. You got a friend in ME!”
After receiving the unique gift, De Vries gushed in a video chat with Reuters, “I feel like I’m famous!”
“He said I’m a friend to him!” the kid exclaimed. “I’m gonna write back soon.”
Hanks and Wilson spent two weeks in quarantine as they battled the virus, but have since returned to their home in Los Angeles.