Kate Winslet has revealed how her role as an epidemiologist in the 2011 movie Contagion made her uniquely prepared to deal with COVID-19! Winslet opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about preparing for the pandemic before there officially was one.
Winslet says people thought she was "crazy" at first
Winslet was filming in Philadelphia when news broke that the coronavirus was spreading across China and Europe. Right away, she began to take safety precautions. "People thought I was crazy because I had been walking around wearing a mask for weeks, going into the grocery store and wiping everything down with isopropyl alcohol and wearing gloves," Winslet explained in the interview.
She revealed that she'd embedded with epidemiologists from the CDC while researching her role as "Dr. Erin Mears" in Contagion, so she was extra aware of the situation. However, when the coronavirus was officially declared a pandemic, everyone else quickly changed their tune. "Then all of a sudden March 13 came around," Winslet recalled, "and people were like, 'F---, where do I get one of those masks?'"
Winslet talks about friends who had coronavirus
Winslet went on to share that she knows two friends who have had coronavirus. However, they haven't fared the same way when it comes to battling the illness. "One was in L.A. and was very lucky to get on a trial using convalescent plasma and did really, really well in the space of, like, 72 hours after the treatment," Winslet said.
"And a dialect coach who lives in London has had it, was in hospital for 11 weeks, is out, and has had every lung test, blood test, blood pressure test," she continued, "and is clear of everything but just cannot get better — is breathless, lethargic, still feels very unwell."
Winslet appears in PSA with Contagion co-stars
Winslet also had a digital reunion with her Contagion co-stars back in March! As People mentions, she appeared in a PSA along with Matt Damon, Jennifer Ehle, and Laurence Fishburne to promote awareness of the coronavirus pandemic. "In the movie Contagion, I played an epidemiologist trying to stop the spread of a hypothetical virus," Winslet says.
"To prepare for the role, I spent time with some of the best public health professionals in the world," she can be seen explaining. "And what was one of the most important things they taught me? Wash your hands like your life depends on it because right now, in particular, it just might."
"So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, a little bit powerless at the moment, here’s something we can all do to make a difference," Winslet concludes. "And it doesn’t require a medical degree, or a microscope, or a ton of knowledge." When it comes to stopping the spread of the coronavirus, many celebrities— including Dan Levy, Jennifer Lopez, and Bill Nye— have also spoken out about how wearing masks is another easy way to help!