Jude Law says 'Contagion' experts told him global pandemic was 'a case of when rather than if'

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·2-min read

Watch: Contagion science advisers told Law pandemic was inevitable

Scientists working as advisers on the thriller Contagion told Jude Law a decade ago that a global pandemic was inevitable, the star has revealed.

In a video interview with GQ, the 47-year-old Brit discussed some of his most memorable roles.

He portrayed conspiracy theorist Alan Krumwiede in Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 thriller, which depicted the devastation wrought by the worldwide spread of an infectious disease with many similarities to the real world COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more: Are disaster movie fans better equipped for the pandemic?

“There was absolutely the sense that this was going to happen,” said Law.

He added: “The great scientists on set with us who had worked with Scott [Z. Burns] the writer and Steven Soderbergh were very learned and experienced individuals who knew what to expect.

Jude Law as conspiracy theorist Alan Krumwiede in 'Contagion'. (Credit: Warner Bros)
Jude Law as conspiracy theorist Alan Krumwiede in 'Contagion'. (Credit: Warner Bros)

“They all said to us that this was going to happen — and it was a case of when rather than if.

“The way they described it, which is exactly as it has happened, just made sense.”

Read more: Contagion stars appear in coronavirus PSA

Contagion became a hugely popular choice on digital rental services when the pandemic hit as viewers searched for information about how the situation in the real world could play out.

ITV drew more than 150 Ofcom complaints when they chose to air the film on TV at the end of March.

Law added: “When 2020 started and we heard about what was initially happening in China, what fast became apparent around the world, it rang alarm bells. Unfortunately, I wasn’t hugely surprised.”

Kate Winslet in Contagion (Credit: Warner Bros)
Kate Winslet in Contagion (Credit: Warner Bros)

The scientific advisers who helped to create Contagion’s virus have been vocal about the need to follow government guidance during the pandemic.

Epidemiologist Dr Ian Lipkin caught COVID-19 himself and warned people to be careful, saying “if it can hit me, it can hit anybody”.

Read more: Trailer unveiled for COVID thriller Songbird

Meanwhile, pathologist Tracey McNamara urged people to be compassionate and help keep others safe.

She said: “People need to wake up. This is a time where the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

"I'll be more blunt: Stop being so stupid and selfish, because your behaviour is going to kill people."

Watch: Kate Winslet on how Contagion prepared her for pandemic