“Eternals” stars Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan and Lauren Ridloff and director Chloé Zhao did not attend Elle’s Women in Hollywood event on Tuesday night due to possible exposure to COVID-19.
“Earlier today we were made aware of a possible exposure to COVID-19, and while all of our talent have tested negative, out of an abundance of caution, we are pivoting to virtual appearances rather than in-person events,” a Disney spokesperson told Variety.
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Elle editor-in-chief Nina Garcia made the announcement during the event, saying that they “were just exposed, so to keep everyone safe those superheroes are now in super isolation.”
It is unclear how the cast members and director may have been exposed to COVID-19, but they were all in attendance at the Los Angeles premiere of “Eternals” on Monday night.
On Tuesday morning, the cast assembled again for the film’s global press conference, moderated by Rotten Tomatoes’ Jacqueline Coley. While the majority of the ensemble, Zhao and Marvel’s Kevin Feige gathered together, Chan and co-star Richard Madden appeared virtually, as Coley explained to press (who’d gathered on Zoom) that the pair had been made aware of a potential exposure to COVID-19 earlier in the day. Though both tested negative, they appeared solo out of an abundance of caution.
Jolie, Hayek, Chan and Ridloff were all honored with an Elle cover to celebrate their roles in “Eternals” and other contributions to film and television. Director Zhao was planning to be in attendance at the event to present the honor to Jolie.
However, Chan appeared via video to accept her honor from Jon M. Chu, who said in his speech, “I’m so honored to know you — wish you were here.”
“I’m so sorry that I can’t be with you this evening, but I am so proud to be honored alongside such incredible women: Angelina, Salma and Lauren,” Chan said in her virtual speech. “All of you I admire greatly, not just for everything they’ve achieved in their careers, but for everything they stand for in life and their advocacy.”
When it came time for Demi Moore to present Hayek’s honor, Moore read her acceptance speech aloud to the audience. Eva Longoria did the same with Jolie’s remarks.
“I am thinking tonight of all of the women who are bringing us through the pandemic. The scientists, the doctors and nurses, so many others who are showing us what strength and sacrifice are and whose contribution transcends borders,” Jolie wrote in her speech. “One of the best things about being part of ‘Eternals’ was working with with such a global cast. Women who were born in countries where the struggle for equality and rights is even more challenging than it is here. Women who know that what makes them different is what makes them beautiful, and gives them even more to contribute.”
Representatives for Elle, Jolie, Hayek, Chan, Ridloff and Zhao did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.
In their cover story, the stars discussed what the highly-anticipated film will offer its viewers.
“It’s magical. There’s something extremely special about it,” Hayek said. “I felt there was something different about this world — about the people that were cast in this movie, about the tone, the sensation of the images.”
The event took place at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and also honored Gal Gadot, Jennifer Hudson, Rita Moreno and Halle Berry. Other attendees included Hailey Bieber, Addison Rae, Lexi Underwood, Ciara, Yvonne Orji, Lucy Hale, Lena Waithe, Patty Jenkins, Debbie Allen and more.
Marc Malkin contributed to this report.
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