Kate Winslet Really Took the Plot of Contagion To Heart

Kate Winslet Really Took the Plot of Contagion To Heart
Photo: John Phillips / Stringer (Getty Images)

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, actor Kate Winslet discussed how her research for her role as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer in the 2011 movie Contagion informed her preparedness for the covid-19 pandemic. Despite being nearly a decade old, Contagion has been discussed repeatedly since the beginning of the pandemic—in part because of the uncanny similarities between its plot and how the covid-19 virus is believed to have arrived in the United States, and also because at this point the average American apparently trusts the science behind a fictional movie more than the science being peddled by our government. So that’s…. concerning.

Speaking about how the covid-19 pandemic had touched her own life, Winslet revealed that two of her friends had contracted the disease.

“I think it’s the unknown element of this virus — we just don’t know how it’s going to affect any given individual — I think that was what’s so terrifying,” she explains. “I’m a very practical, straightforward person, and if I have to respond to an emergency, I just go into that zone.”

By the time the covid-19 pandemic panic took over the U.S., Winslet had already been taking precautions for weeks while she was on set shooting an HBO limited series called Mare of Easttown in Philadelphia.

“People thought I was crazy because I had been walking around [Philadelphia] wearing a mask for weeks, going into the grocery store and wiping everything down with isopropyl alcohol and wearing gloves,” she says of the time when early reports of the virus had started to emerge from Wuhan and Europe. “Then all of a sudden March 13 came around, and people were like, ‘Fuck, where do I get one of those masks?’”

Unfortunately, not all of us were lucky enough to have shadowed CDC epidemiologists while doing research for a role in a Hollywood blockbuster. Let the rest of us in on the trade secrets next time, Kate!

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