15 Actresses Who Got Pregnant During Filming and How They Hid It Onscreen
Making a movie is not a fast process. And working on a series with many seasons and episodes can stretch to 10+ years. At the same time, life goes on and stars can get married or have kids within this period. However, confessing their pregnancy to colleagues and on-set bosses is always a big stress for actresses. All because it might not fit into the script and in this case, the celebrity risks losing her job.
While filming the second season of The X-Files, Gillian Anderson’s growing baby bump was first concealed by special angles and oversized clothes. But when it was time for the actress to give birth to the baby, scriptwriters created Dana Scully’s abduction by aliens. This explained her absence and made it possible for the actress to take a short maternity leave. The scenes of the alien ship even showed the big baby bump of the heroine.
Gillian Anderson got back to filming several days after giving birth to her daughter. That’s why in the 8th episode, Scully doesn’t get up from a hospital cot where she was returned according to the plot. By the way, the consequences of this abduction created the basis for several plot turns. Thus, in one of the episodes of the 5th season, Dana Scully finds out that she had given birth to a baby then.
The Big Bang Theory
While filming the 11th season of the popular sitcom, the actress who played Bernadette was pregnant. It became a real challenge for the showrunners because in the previous season the character and her husband had already had one kid. Nevertheless, the creators of the series decided that it could become a truly interesting story. Howard, Bernadette’s husband, was shocked to find out that she was expecting a second baby so soon after the birth of the first one (who had not turned a year old yet).
“They’re shell-shocked at the beginning,” said the creator of the series. “They’re still coming to terms with having a first child in the house, so having a second child has really knocked them for a loop. Some of the same things from the first time around too, like Bernadette, who is very driven at work and took some time off to have the first baby and has just gotten back, is now going to have to take time off again. You start to see her starting to feel threatened and vulnerable in her career.”
Once Upon a Time
Actress Ginnifer Goodwin, who played the role of Snow White, announced her pregnancy while filming the 3rd season of the series. But showrunners quickly found a way out. This is how Snow White and Prince Charming had a baby.
By the way, the fact that the actress met her future husband and the father of the baby on the set makes it seem even more like a fairy tale. And the father was the actor who plays Prince Charming.
Actress Marcia Cross got pregnant with twins when she was 44. It came as a big surprise because a pregnancy for her character, Bree, was not in keeping with the series — all of the plot lines had already been prepared beforehand. That’s why the series creators had to search for a way to conceal her growing baby bump. Thus, Bree started to wear more sweaters and do close-up shots only. In one of the episodes, they even used a gingerbread house to hide her tummy.
By the way, after childbirth, Marcia Cross had to play a pregnant woman in the series — her character was putting a pillow under her clothes to later pretend that the baby her daughter was going to have was hers.
Having learned about Jennifer Garner’s pregnancy, as she was playing the main role, scriptwriters had to rewrite season 5 completely. Now, Sydney Bristow was also getting ready to become a mother, that’s why they didn’t have to hide the growing baby bump.
However, in late pregnancy, the actress could no longer participate in complex action scenes. That’s why they added Rachael to the script — a young special agent, and Sydney became her supervisor. This way, Rachael could enjoy many breathtaking adventures, while Sydney could enjoy her pregnancy in a relatively calm atmosphere.
Anne Hathaway got pregnant while working on this movie. After having learned about the wardrobe was being prepared for the Grand High Witch, Hathaway protested, explaining that she would feel constrained if something was too fitted in the waist area. That’s why they made the decision to not use costumes with waistlines that were too thin, much to the costume designer’s dismay. Eventually, it was decided to opt for more loose clothing.
The biggest issue from the perspective of the wardrobe was the purple dress with the golden snake. The actress’s pregnancy was already noticeable, and that’s why its design required a thorough work-over.
The star of the series Bones, Emily Deschanel, and her alter-ego Temperance Brennan were pregnant in the first half of Season 7. However, the actress gave birth to her baby a bit earlier than her characters. That’s why Deschanel had to put on an artificial tummy after childbirth to film one episode. The actress confessed that it was very inconvenient and hot to walk around wearing it.
In order to choose the most suitable one, she tried on a bunch of tummies that were created for different celebs. Among them, Emily tried on the belly bump of Nicole Kidman, however she claims that she doesn’t remember which bump she eventually selected.
When the actress who played the main role of Pam, Jenna Fischer, was pregnant with her first child, she and her on-set husband already had one child according to the script. So the actress was afraid to talk about her delicate situation and asked the costume designers to buy new clothes that could hide her baby bump from prying eyes. However, when it was no longer possible to hide it, Jenna confessed everything, and it was decided that she would fit her pregnancy into the series naturally — by giving the couple a second child.
The Vampire Diaries
In season 7, the vampire Caroline, played by Candice King, got pregnant... with the help of a magical transition. She became a surrogate mother for unborn twins. According to the producer of the series, they created a story of a woman who knocked on the door of a grieving widower saying, “I think I am pregnant with your kids.” But it was obvious that this plot twist was too sharp, that’s why it was not there in the plan initially... until the moment Candice King called and said she was pregnant.
Despite the real pregnancy, the actress had to wear an artificial tummy over her own. The thing is, her character was pregnant with twins, while Candice was expecting only one baby and didn’t look “pregnant enough.” Apart from that, this unexpected plot twist gave birth to spin-offs The Originals and Legacies.
The thriller Jack Reacher is one case where it was decided to conceal an actress’s pregnancy from viewers. The situation was further complicated by the fact that the action in the movie lasted for only 3 days, while filming lasted for 4 months. That’s why costume designers and the cameramen had to do their best to make Rosamund Pike look the same in the frame and try to hide her rounded baby bump. For example, the actress often wore black in the frame.
But the actress herself thinks that the presence of several more pounds while filming only made the character more plausible, more human. “I actually really like the way I look, because I am carrying a bit of weight,” said Rosamund Pike.
Caterina Scorsone, who played the role of doctor Amelia Shepherd in Grey’s Anatomy and its spin-off Private Practice, was pregnant 3 times while working on set. Her first and third pregnancies were worked into the script. However, according to the scenario, doctor Amelia Shepherd lost her first baby. That’s why, after learning about the actress’s other pregnancy, the series creators decided to give her character a chance to become a happy mother.
The star of Charmed, Alyssa Milano, who played the role of Savannah Davis in Mistresses, got pregnant right before the beginning of filming of Season 2. In order to conceal it, the actress was hidden behind bags and menus and asked to hold props like bulky bags and pillows in her hands. She also wore black oversized clothing.
According to Alyssa Milano, the series creators put so much effort into hiding her pregnancy that it looked like a sketch from Saturday Night Live. After the end of the season, she left the show, having explained it by saying she wished to spend more time with her family.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Thanks to smart costuming choices and the wonders of filming technique, viewers of Avengers: Age of Ultron had no idea that Scarlett Johansson was pregnant in the film. Her colleagues recalled that those days were a lot of fun. During dangerous stunts, the actress was insured by several understudies at once.
“It’s always funny. You walk by, ’Hey Scarlett, oh. Weird. You’re not Scarlett at all. Sorry.’ A lot of fake Scarletts around,” said Chris Evans, who played Captain America in that movie. Colleagues surrounded the pregnant Johansson with care and helped her in every way in the work, just like a real team of superheroes.
Into the Woods
When it became clear during the filming of Into the Woods that Emily Blunt was pregnant, the director was ready to work around it. Meryl Streep, who was also in the movie, commented on all the methods they used during the shoot to help Blunt cover her belly. The costume designers were veritable masters of disguise. There was another trick: “I was hiding behind every tree in that wood!” Blunt said. One way or another, the filmmakers managed to keep the film going.
The movie Wonder Woman required the creators to have mastery of special effects not only to show the audience the superheroine’s abilities, but also to hide her pregnancy. Gal Gadot, according to the director, worked at full speed on the set. She spent hours filming in the cold and performing stunts. The only thing she could not do was hide her growing belly. These were taken care of by professionals already in post-production.