Tom Hanks spotted out of quarantine

 

The Hollywood superstar at the centre of Queensland's border exemption controversy is now out of quarantine and set to begin work on the Gold Coast.

Tom Hanks touched down two weeks ago to begin filming for Baz Luhrmann's Elvis biopic, which was originally slated to begin filming in March but was suspended when the star contracted COVID-19.

Luhrmann and the Queensland Government spent months formulating a COVIDSafe plan which would allow filming to resume, tipped to inject $100 million into the local economy.

As a result, Hanks was allowed to fly into Australia while thousands of Australians remain stranded overseas.

Tom Hanks seen visiting Pacific Fair shopping centre on the Gold Coast. Picture: 9 News
Tom Hanks seen visiting Pacific Fair shopping centre on the Gold Coast. Picture: 9 News

It prompted a woman stranded in London, desperately waiting to return home to Australia, to pen a letter to Hanks, expressing how "disheartening" it was to see celebrities head to Australia while she had been waiting months to return home.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk came under fire for allowing the movie star to enter the state, even copping criticism from the Prime Minister, amid a heartbreaking case of a Canberra woman denied approval to attend her father's funeral.

Sarah Caisip wrote a scathing letter to the Queensland Premier after finding out she would also miss her Dad’s funeral. Picture: Annette Dew
Sarah Caisip wrote a scathing letter to the Queensland Premier after finding out she would also miss her Dad’s funeral. Picture: Annette Dew

On Sydney radio on Thursday morning, before border restrictions were eased to allow ACT residents into the sunshine state, Mr Morrison said he didn't expect special treatment to enter Queensland.

Mr Morrison accused the state of "double standards", after 400 AFL executives were also allowed to enter the state while ordinary Australians remained locked out.

"Well I don't think there should be double standards, I mean it's not like I'm a Hollywood movie star or in the AFL or anything," he told Nova's Fitzy and Wippa.

CHO Dr Jeannette Young revealed part of the reason why Hanks and his cast and crew mates were allowed to enter Queensland was for monetary reasons, namely that it would provide a well-needed boost for the state's struggling economy.

"I have given exemptions from people in entertainment and film because that is bringing a lot of money into this state," she said in a press conference earlier this month.

Mr Morrison said he understood why people were "frustrated" to see the "double standards."

"Queenslanders are fair-minded people. I know, I'm sure the vast majority of Queenslanders would support the border being in place. That's why it's not about that, it's about - you know, Queenslanders are very fair-minded people too, and I think this is what would offended them, the double standards that are there," Mr Morrison said on September 10.

 

Tom Hanks was originally set to begin filming for the Elvis biopic in March, but returned home to the USA after he contracted COVID-19.
Tom Hanks was originally set to begin filming for the Elvis biopic in March, but returned home to the USA after he contracted COVID-19.

Hanks, alongside co-star Austin Butler, will begin filming at Village Roadshow Studios on Wednesday.

While Hanks was spotted at Pacific Fair on Tuesday, castmate Butler, who will play Elvis, was also spotted at Broadbeach.

Oscar winning American actor Tom Hanks is pictured as he emerges from quarantine in Queensland, visiting Pacific Fair shopping centre on the Gold Coast. Picture: 9 News
Oscar winning American actor Tom Hanks is pictured as he emerges from quarantine in Queensland, visiting Pacific Fair shopping centre on the Gold Coast. Picture: 9 News

 

Initial reports suggested Hanks was quarantining in a lavish Gold Coast hinterland estate, but that was later denied by Ms Palaszczuk who said the star was staying in a "government approved hotel".

"My advice is that he is staying in a hotel, so I am told that he is not staying in a house," she said on Sunday.

"There are other people who have flown in from LA into Sydney and are staying in New South Wales now obviously they would have had to get the exemptions and border force checks as well … but unfortunately we're not hearing anything about that in New South Wales, all we are hearing is about Queensland.

"Scott Morrison flew up here a few months ago and talked about more incentives to get more movies here, so that's okay, we put in on the table more incentives to get movies here as well, and I'll tell you what they want to come to Queensland and film and that means keeping people on the Gold Coast in employment and I'll fight for those jobs."

 

Originally published as Tom Hanks spotted out of quarantine



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