Kate Winslet warned friends against watching 'Contagion' during the pandemic

Zac Ntim
·3 min read
Contagion Warner Bros
Kate Winslet in "Contagion." Warner Bros.
  • During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the former "Titanic" said that back in March when the COVID-19 pandemic began to intensify, she started to receive messages from friends and family who had "blindly" watched her movie with a relevant theme: "Contagion."

  • The 45-year-old actor said that she found it odd that people were returning to the film when the world was dealing with a real-life pandemic. "I was like: 'Well, don't f---ing watch it! It will scare you,'" she said. 

  • She added: "The story is alarmingly accurate. We did work with a remarkable team of people who would listen to the CDC, who advised on the film and gave us incredible information daily and helped design the virus and work with [screenwriter] Scott Burns on the script."

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Kate Winslet has never seen her 2011 pandemic-set thriller "Contagion" in full, and she is now warning friends and family against watching the film too. 

During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the former "Titanic" said that back in March when the COVID-19 pandemic began to intensify, she started to receive messages from friends and family who had "blindly" watched "Contagion." 

But the 45-year-old actor said that she found it odd that people were returning to the film when the world was dealing with a real-life pandemic. 

"I was like: 'Well, don't f---ing watch it! It will scare you,'" Winslet said. "The story is alarmingly accurate. We did work with a remarkable team of people who would listen to the CDC, who advised on the film and gave us incredible information daily and helped design the virus and work with [screenwriter] Scott Burns on the script."

contagion movie
Winslet wearing a face mask in 2011's "Contagion." Warner Bros.

The Steven Soderbergh-directed thriller follows, with uncanny similarity to the COVID-19 pandemic, the worldwide spread of a respiratory virus that originated in Hong Kong, and the desperate chase to find a cure as the world descends into anarchy. 

And since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March, the film has received a second life, becoming one of the top titles to watch on digital services. For a period of time, it was in the top 10 on iTunes and the top rental title on FandangoNow.

Warner Bros., the studio behind the movie, announced earlier this year that "Contagion" was only behind the "Harry Potter" franchise as the most in-demand title in its catalog to view online. For context, "Contagion" was the studio's 270th most popular in December 2019. 

Speaking with Insider back in April, the film's producer Michael Shamberg said that he was amazed by the film's resurgence and that all the credit must be given to the film's screenwriter Scott Burns, director Steven Soderbergh, and the experts who consulted on the film.  

"I don't think in the history of cinema anything has happened like this before," he said. "I can't give enough credit to Scott Burns, Steven Soderbergh, and our experts. What I'm proud of is it just tells you that there are many uses of cinema beyond comic book movies. Which I also like. But we should not forget that we need cinema both to entertain us, take our minds off of stuff, but also it is the most powerful medium for informing people."

Read More:

One of the producers of 'Contagion' says preparation for the coronavirus would have gone better if the 'government embraced science'

Everyone is watching 'Contagion' right now. A psychologist explains why it's healthier to watch that than the news.

How 'Contagion' became a must-see movie during the coronavirus pandemic

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