Plenty of people are watching Steven Soderbergh’s pandemic movie Contagion these days, and many are probably finding the all-too-relevant plot weirdly cathartic and helpful as they deal with their own coronavirus fears and self-isolation boredom. Now, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, and other stars from the film are attempting to be even more helpful with a set of newly recorded COVID-19 PSAs.
In addition to Damon and Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard, and Jennifer Ehle have also filmed PSAs, which were made with the help of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Soderbergh and writer Scott Z. Burns teamed up with the school’s Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology who also served as an advisor for the chillingly realistic 2011 movie.
“The Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University reached out to the cast and asked us if we’d have a virtual reunion and do some PSAs,” Damon explains. “Everything you’re going to hear from us has been vetted by public health experts and scientists.”
So far, there have been five different PSAs, plus one that’s a supercut featuring bits of all the individual spots. Each actor speaks about a different aspect of public health, and their chosen topics are quite relevant to the characters they played in the movie. Damon, for instance—who played the husband of the fictional disease’s patient zero (Gwyneth Paltrow)—recorded a PSA about social distancing. In Contagion, Damon’s character was adamant that his daughter not leave the house for fear that she would contract the disease. Damon’s PSA also stresses the need to listen to experts—fitting, as he’s the only actor who didn’t play a scientist in the film.
Fishburne played Dr. Ellis Cheever, a high-ranking scientist at the Center for Disease Control who attempted to study the big-picture spread of the contagion. The actor’s PSA is similarly big picture, talking about how the virus spreads and the steps viewers can take to combat it. Winslet’s Dr. Erin Mears, meanwhile, was an epidemiologist on the front lines of the contagion, so her PSA is about hand-washing. Cotillard’s character worked for the World Health Organization and she had to make a big decision (no spoilers here) in the film, so her PSA is about the big choice that we as a society need to make to prevent this pandemic from getting even worse.
Finally, there’s Ehle, who played Dr. Ally Hextall, the CDC scientist who ultimately saves the day by creating a vaccine. Her PSA is fittingly about vaccines, explaining why they take so long to make and perhaps tempering our expectations that we could have a vaccine in the real world as quickly as they did in the film.
Jude Law has yet to record a PSA for the campaign, but given that his character in the movie was a charlatan who spread misinformation about bogus cures before #FakeNews was even a thing, these first five PSAs are probably a good start.
And ten other things to watch, read, and play to help you lean into the dread.
Originally Appeared on GQ