Kate Winslet’s role as an epidemiologist in 2011 drama Contagion prepared her for the horrors of the coronavirus pandemic.
The actress reveals being part of Steven Soderbergh’s star-studded movie, about a deadly disease that spreads from China to the U.S. and kills millions, made her hyper-aware of the necessary safety measures early on.
“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,” she tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Then all of a sudden, March 13 came around, and people were like, ‘F**k, where do I get one of those masks?'”
The star, who appeared alongside Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Laurence Fishburne in the film, saved herself and her family from the virus, but several friends fell ill.
“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,” she added. “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, and is clear of everything but just cannot get better – is breathless, lethargic, still feels very unwell (sic).”
In March (2020), Winslet joined co-stars Damon, Fishburne, and Jennifer Ehle for a Public Service Announcement on the safety measures needed to protect people against the virus.