Jude Law says Contagion on-set doctors warned him about real-life pandemic during filming

Clémence Michallon
·1-min read
Jude Law attends a photocall for 'The New Pope' during the Venice Film Festival on 1 September 2019 (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Jude Law attends a photocall for 'The New Pope' during the Venice Film Festival on 1 September 2019 (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Jude Law says he was warned about the very real possibility of a pandemic by medical professionals on the set of Contagion.

The actor said during a remote appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon earlier this week that he and others were told that a pandemic was “a matter of when, not if”.

“One of the most affecting memories or experiences on that film were the doctors and the virologists who were advising us,” he recounted.

“…And they were all saying to us, ‘This is a matter of when, not if.’”

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Law said he came out of the film with a heightened awareness of certain mechanisms that can contribute to the spread of a virus, such as touching one’s face or not washing one’s hands often enough.

“All of that stuff was sort of embedded in me, but of course it slowly percolates away,” he added.

Contagion, which came out in 2011, went through a surge in popularity at the beginning of the pandemic. The film, which tells the story of the spread of a virus transmitted through respiratory droplets and fomites, took on an eerie quality amid the spread of Covid-19.

Law said he found the renewed appetite for Contagion “a little odd”, since people could “just turn on the news” instead of watching the movie.

“But at the same time, it was – yeah, well, first of all, I think I wrote immediately to [Contagion director] Steven Soderbergh and just said, ‘You got it. You were there 10 years ago.’”