Australian actor Isabel Lucas has sparked a storm after revealing she “opted out” of COVID testing while filming the movie Bosch & Rockit in Byron Bay.
The 35-year-old former Home and Away star, who is a noted anti-vaccination activist, made the admission on the American alternative health podcast, Alfa Vedic.
“I gave my duty of care of what I could offer to respect everyone’s health and maintain my own health, and I shared that, and I opted out of doing the COVID test,” she said.
“Everyone was really respectful and really honouring of, like, how to maintain health while this very tricky time is underway. But I needed to do that. I felt like it was quite an understanding, relaxed group of people.”
Filming for Bosch & Rockit, which also stars Luke Hemsworth, wrapped up in September.
In August, film industry publication IF reported the production was following Screen Australia’s COVID-safe guidelines and NSW Health regulations, including daily temperature checks for crew. The cast and a smaller than usual crew were “living in a virtual bubble”.
Lucas’ revelation apparently came as a shock to producers Tyler Atkins and Cathy Flannery. They told the Brisbane Times this week they weren’t aware the actor hadn’t been tested for the deadly virus until they were contacted for comment.
“Every cast and crew member was required to sign an acknowledgement that they would adhere to the COVID-safe guidelines adopted by the production, which included an acknowledgement that they had been COVID tested prior to principal photography,” a statement from production company Black Pearl Productions said.
“Isabel’s recent statement that she was not tested is inconsistent with the producers’ understanding that she had complied with the COVID-safe guidelines adopted by the production.”
The film is Atkins’ debut feature. Based on a true story, it follows a dad named Bosch (played by Luke Hemsworth), who is on the run from police.
He takes his teenage son, Rockit (Rasmus King), along for the ride. Rockit thinks it’s a dream road trip away from Sydney – until he realises the police are in hot pursuit.
Lucas plays Hemsworth’s character’s love interest, Deb.
“My immune system has just become so solid from my way of life, how I live and eat and think,” she told the podcast of her decision not to have a test for the virus.
“It was a really beautiful experience all up, even though people were wearing masks most of the time and adhering to those rules.”
Lucas is well known also holding controversial views on vaccination. In April, they cost her a role as the girls’ rights ambassador for charity group Plan International.
Plan dropped her just three weeks after announcing the partnership. On social media at the time, Lucas said the issue was a “misunderstanding”.
“I have concerns about ‘mandatory’ vaccination, not vaccination itself,” she said.
“Moving forward, I’d like to welcome and invite cohesive, clear and calm communication around ‘mandatory’ vaccines, ethical vaccine testing and how to support every human being to have the right to freedom of choice.”
She also regularly uses her Instagram account to discuss 5G radiation conspiracy theories.
“Why has 5G microwave radiation technology not tested as safe?” she asked.
“Why have we, the people, not been given the choice if we want this in our communities or not?”