Tom Hanks proved once again he has a heart of gold after gifting a Corona-brand typewriter to an Australian boy who was bullied for having a name associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
“I feel like I’m famous,” exclaimed Queensland’s Corona De Vries, 8, in a Reuters video upon receiving the present from his hero.
The “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” actor and noted typewriter enthusiast recently spent more than two weeks isolated with his wife, Rita Wilson, in Australia last month after testing positive for COVID-19.
When the boy heard of the double Oscar-winning actor’s illness, he wrote, “Are you ok?” The correspondence was the start of their long-distance friendship. In the heartfelt letter, which aired on Australia’s Channel 7, De Vries tragically revealed that his schoolmates called him “the coronavirus” due to his COVID-evoking appellation, which made him “sad and angry.”
Hanks wasn’t one to see the boy suffer. So, dusting off his retro Corona typewriter which he happened to have brought with him to Australia, he wrote back on April 10, “Your letter made my wife and I feel so wonderful!”
The Hollywood icon added, “You’re the only person I’ve ever known to have the name Corona — like the ring around the sun, a crown.”
Then, to further lift the bullying victim’s spirits, Hanks bestowed De Vries with the vintage writing instrument that bore his unique name. “I thought this typewriter would suit you,” he wrote, cheekily adding, “Ask a grown up how it works. And use it to write me back.”
“P.S. You got a friend in ME!” the star wrote in reference to the immortal line uttered by his character Woody in “Toy Story.”
Needless to say, De Vries was over the moon about Hanks’ response.
“He said I’m a friend to him,” the starstruck schoolboy tells Reuters.
“I’m gonna write back soon,” he said while pounding away on his namesake typewriter.