'Contagion's' Gwyneth Paltrow a 'Trooper' for Brain Surgery Scene

Warner Bros.

Director Steven Soderbergh talks about the gruesome scene in the weekend box office winner.

Matt Damon and director Steven Soderbergh are giving Gwyneth Paltrow credit for the grisly Contagion scene in which her brain is dissected.

Sonderbergh told reporters at a press conference for the virus thriller (via USA Today) that Paltrow donned a skin-like tissue "that looked like pizza on one end without the sauce" and a wig for the scene.

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Before filming, Paltrow -- who is patient zero -- questioned the movie's consulting medical examiner about how her face should look during the grisly procedure.

"The medical examiner told her that her tongue would be extruded just a bit and that she would have a yellowish fluid coming out of her nose," said Soderbergh. "[Gwyneth] wanted it to be exactly right."

Paltrow stayed "stock still" for 40 minutes as they filmed the scene, Sonderberg said.

"Gwyneth is a trooper," he added. "I think she had a feeling this was going to be some sort of weird iconic image somehow."

"And she was right," joked Damon.

"There really isn't a vain part in the cast," added Damon.

This isn't the first time Paltrow has lost her head in a movie. For 1995's Se7en, she was beheaded and her on-screen partner Brad Pitt received it in a box.

Contagion won the box office war
this weekend with $23.1 million. See the domestic box office chart here.

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