Kate Winslet and Anthony Hopkins Dedicate Toronto Film Festival Awards to Frontline Workers

Kate Winslet and Anthony Hopkins shared their TIFF Tribute Actor awards with frontline workers

Kate Winslet, Anthony Hopkins
Kate Winslet and Anthony Hopkins dedicated their TIFF awards to frontline workers. Photo: Getty

Kate Winslet and Sir Anthony Hopkins are honoring frontline workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The two actors were part of a group at this year's Toronto International Film Festival that were awarded the Tribute Actor Award.

"To be giving applause to anyone other than those who have and continued to be at the forefront of the battle against this virus across the world does feel decidedly out of place,” Winslet, 44, whose film Ammonite has screened at the festival, said.

Winslet said she was "extremely proud" of her film Ammonite, calling it "a quiet, intimate love story of two women with opposite lives, the love that they discover for one another and the importance of a woman’s integrity and passion."

"However minor my thoughts may seem to the wider comparatives, my feelings are heartfelt as we all endeavor to return to a healthier reality," she continued. "One that is hopefully altered enough to create space for an abundance of compassion, gratitude, kindness and respect for each other and humankind, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or faith."

Hopkins, 82, stars in The Father, and thanked the frontline workers and first responders "all over the world."

"This award is yours. So I thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart," he said.

Among the festival's other honorees were directors Chloe Zhao, Mira Nair, Tracey Deer and composer Terence Blanchard.

In August, Winslet discussed working on her 2011 film Contagion in which she played an epidemic intelligence service officer.

“People thought I was crazy because I had been walking around wearing a mask for weeks, going into the grocery store and wiping everything down with isopropyl alcohol and wearing gloves,” Winslet told The Hollywood Reporter of the early days of the pandemic.

“Then all of a sudden March 13 came around, and people were like, ‘F—, where do I get one of those masks?’”

In late March, Winslet and her Contagion costars — Matt Damon, Jennifer Ehle and Laurence Fishburn — got together for a digital reunion in which each actor filmed a PSA to keep fans educated about the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the movie Contagion, I played an epidemiologist trying to stop the spread of a hypothetical virus,” Winslet said in her PSA, which focused on hand washing. “To prepare for the role, I spent time with some of the best public health professionals in the world. And what was one of the most important things they taught me? Wash your hands like your life depends on it because right now, in particular, it just might.”

“So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, a little bit powerless at the moment, here’s something we can all do to make a difference. And it doesn’t require a medical degree, or a microscope, or a ton of knowledge,” she added.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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