Kate Winslet has portrayed a slew of sophisticated women but the Oscar-winning actress says she prefers to play "less glamorous" roles.
In the new film "Contagion," which was released on Friday, September 9, The 35-year-old British actress portrays Dr. Erin Mears, an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer who works to find a pathogen and vaccine for a deadly airborne virus that is threatening to spread around the world. The film also stars Matt Damon and Jude Law.
"I really prefer playing the less glamorous characters to the perfectly manicured ones," Winslet said in an interview provided by Warner Brothers Pictures. "I do really like playing people who really look like people."
"I mean, no, I didn't have hair and makeup and the Epidemic Intelligence Service officers that I met ... they did say to me that they didn't even own any makeup," she added. "They might put on a little lipstick if they have to meet government officials, but other than that, no hair, no makeup."
Winslet said she did not know what an Epidemic Intelligence Service agent did before she took on the role.
"These people are absolutely brilliant and quite extraordinary people and I was very grateful to them for sharing some of their stories with me," she said. "It made a huge difference to my knowledge of the role I had to play."
Given the subject matter of the film, Winslet said that the cast and crew were increasingly aware of germs.
"You've never see so many bottles of hand sanitizer on a movie set, probably in your life," she said. "It did make us more germ conscious, some people even had a hard time sleeping in their hotel rooms, knowing that a stranger had slept in that exact same bed the night before. It really made people a bit crazy."
"I didn't quite go to that extreme," she added. "But as a parent, one is of course health-conscious and germ-conscious on behalf of our kids and it and it has made me crank it up a notch. Not in an obsessive way, definitely not, but there has been more hand-washing that goes on and shoes going on and off going into people's houses and other people going into our house."
Winslet rose to fame with her role as Rose in another disaster film - 1997 movie "Titanic." She won her first Oscar for her performance in the 2008 movie "The Reader."
Winslet, who is currently dating Louis Dowler, and has two children, Mia, 10, and Joe, 7, from marriages to directors Jim Threapleton and Sam Mendes. Winslet and Mendes separated in March 2010.
Winslet will next appear in "Carnage," opposite Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly.
The film, which is based on the play by Yasmina Reza, "The God of Carnage," is slated for release on September 30 and follows two sets of parents who organize a "cordial" meeting after their sons are involved in a fight at school which leaves one child with broken teeth.
"Contagion" was released in theaters on September 9, watch a trailer below.