Coronavirus: Actors of Soderbergh’s “Prophetic” Movie Contagion in PSA Videos

Aiming to share evidence-based information about the coronavirus (COVID-19), the cast of Soderbergh’s prophetic movie Contagion in collaboration with scientists from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health and Participant unveiled a series of PSA videos on Friday.

Castmembers Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet and Jennifer Ehle appear in the videos, exploring key tactics to slow the spread of the respiratory illness, such as social distancing, how to properly hand wash and ways to decipher the information in this difficult period.

“I’m here to talk to you about social distancing, something we’ve been hearing a lot about on TV I think, in the last couple weeks,” says Damon in his PSA. “In the movie, I played a guy who was immune to the hypothetical virus that was spreading around the world. So, a few things to start. One, that was a movie, this is real life. I have no reason to believe I’m immune to COVID-19. And neither do you, no matter how young you are.”

“This is a new virus, it’s going to take some time for our bodies and our doctors to understand it and understand the best way to protect us. So, new viruses emerge all the time, this isn’t the first, and it won’t be the last. So, the good news is, we have seen things like this before, and we emerged stronger as a result. And in time, we’re going to win against this one as well.”

Damon goes through the details of what social distancing is, and why it’s crucial to do if government officials are issuing those instructions.

All of the PSAs were written with guidance from the medical experts who advised Soderbergh on Contagion, including Dr. Larry Brilliant, Mark Smolinski, Laurie Garrett and Dr. W. Ian Lipkin.

The original screenwriter of the film, Scott Z. Burns, was also involved in authoring the projects.