Kate Winslet appeared on The Graham Norton Show last night in the UK to talk about Contagion, but also explained how she rescued Sir Richard Branson‘s 90-year-old mother, Eve from a fire that struck Branson’s Necker Island home in August. Winslet told Norton that she was awoken by Branson’s nephews at around 4:30 a.m., alerting everyone that there was a fire.
“It was genuinely very scary. We woke up at 4:30 in the morning to yelling that there was a fire. I jumped up and ran immediately towards the fire but then realized we might die,” the Oscar winner explained. “I ran into the bedroom and put on a bra. In disastrous moments like that, you do the strangest things,” Winslet said. “I started to put on a bra and thought ‘No, that’s going to take me too long,’ so off came the bra, on came the t-shirt, I grabbed the children and I picked up Granny.”
Still, the star doesn’t want to take full credit for rescuing Eve Branson. “No, I didn’t save her life,” Winslet insisted. “I carried her down the stairs is the truth of it. We were all at the top of some very slippery stone steps and in the middle of a hurricane – it was so dramatic, there was lashing rain and it really did feel like being in a movie. In truth, I carried Eve Branson down the stairs.”
Winslet praised Branson’s mother after telling her story. “I have to say Eve Branson is an extraordinary stoic, powerful lady and she could have totally made it out on her own,” she added. “I just helped that tiny little bit.”
The episode airs on BBC America October 29th. Check out the interview below (Winslet tells her story six minutes into the video).