What was your first impression when you read the Contagion script?
Laurence Fishburne: I'm in. Yeah, when I read it I was very much interested in doing it, yeah.
Did your involvement in Contagion increase your awareness about germs and bacteria?
Laurence Fishburne: It makes you think about those things. When, you know, you don't necessarily think about those things any other time. I mean, I haven't, I'm not carrying bottles of Purell with me or nothing. But I might be later.
Do you think Contagion will bring about a sense of awareness regarding contagious diseases?
Laurence Fishburne: I think there's a certain amount of awareness that this movie will bring about contagious diseases, viruses, etc. I like the fact that it's just global. It's like, it just goes all around the world that fast. I mean, that's the thing that appealed to me. Because it really sort of demonstrates how much we're interconnected. And dependent on one another as we travel on this bowl through space.
What was it like to work with Kate Winslet?
Laurence Fishburne: She's just so wonderful. She's so gifted. And she's so damn good. She seemingly can do anything. So I was really excited to get to work with her. And she's funny as well.
What role does Jennifer Ehle play in Contagion?
Laurence Fishburne: Jennifer is like the secret weapon of the movie. Jennifer Ehle is the weapon. She's the secret weapon of the movie. She really is. She's definitely the hero.
What role does your character, Dr. Ellis Cheever play in the film?
Laurence Fishburne: Dr. Ellis Cheever, who's the head of the CDC, is the guy responsible for trying to figure out, you know, ok, what is this. What isn't it. You know, you go, you go, you go. Come back and tell me what it is. What it isn't. How we grow it. How we vaccinate against it. And then while you're doing that I'm gonna be over here trying to tell people what it is, what it isn't. How many people we expect are going to die. How many people have died. What was that? How many cities it is in. Well, right now it's everywhere. So I've got this, you know. I'm sort of the ringmaster. But I have no control over any of the animals in the circus. I have no control over any acts in the circus. But I'm the ringmaster. So when everything goes wrong, I'm the guy that they go: oh, you messed up. Oh, it's your head on the chopping block, okay.
Laurence Fishburne also talks about what it was like to work with Steven Soderbergh and if he related to the film on a personal level.