Bump Ahead: Actresses Who Were Secretly Pregnant While Filming
While it is illegal for a woman to lose her job because of pregnancy, there are definitely some tasks that are harder to do while pregnant. This is especially the case for actresses in Hollywood who can’t let pregnancy limit their careers.
Some producers have figured out ways to let a baby bump shine with a cover story, like when Phoebe on Friends was the surrogate for her half-brother's triplets. Others have used a number of clever ways to try and hide a pregnancy.
Scarlett Johansson in Avengers: Age of Ultron
When Scarlett Johansson told the production team about her first pregnancy, they knew they’d have to make it work since her character, Black Widow, is central to the plot and known for her catsuits. Many of her scenes were moved up in the production calendar.
Marcia Cross on Desperate Housewives
During season three of Desperate Housewives, Marcia Cross was not only pregnant but also put on bed rest. Desperate (pun not intended) to keep filming, the production crew relocated to her home and restaged it to match Bree Van de Kamp's house on Wisteria Lane.
Kerry Washington on Scandal
Not only did the production team have to get creative in the props department to hide Kerry Washington's pregnancy on Scandal, but there was also the issue of her wardrobe. As a political fixer, her character Olivia Pope wears high-end power fashion.
Courteney Cox on Friends
After Friends established in a heartbreaking episode that Monica and Chandler struggled with infertility and were now in the process of adopting, the show had to hide Courteney Cox's pregnancy with daughter Coco.
Claire Danes on Homeland
Claire Danes was only in her first trimester when she started filming season two of Homeland, so she opted to keep her pregnancy secret from her co-workers and crew. It was mostly an easy task except for the overwhelming exhaustion she was battling.
Kerri Russell on The Americans
When The American co-stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys were expecting their first child in real life, show developers opted against incorporating the pregnancy into the show. Instead, they used a combination of computer editing and traditional cover-up to mask Kerri's belly.
Sarah Jessica Parker on Sex and the City
Writers felt Carrie Bradshaw wasn't at a point to settle down and have a baby during season five of Sex and the City, so they opted to have Sarah Jessica Parker hide her pregnancy instead. Costume designers worked hard to put Parker in loose and flowy outfits, but this wasn't really in line with the character's fashion-forward style.
Jane Krakowski on 30 Rock
Since, in the words of executive producer Robert Carlock, "No child should have Jenna Maroney for a mother," Jane Krakowski's pregnancy had to be covered up on 30 Rock. This led to some fun and literal cover-up opportunities in the form of wardrobe choices. One example was when Jenna sported a furry dog costume to hide her growing baby bump.
January Jones on Mad Men
Since it wasn't in the cards for Betty Draper to have another child on Mad Men, the writing team and director decided to have the character develop a growth on her thyroid and subsequently gain weight. January Jones was required to wear a fat suit in addition to being pregnant to sell the story.
Julie Bowen on Modern Family
Julie Bowen and the creators of Modern Family deserve major props for not letting a pregnancy hold them back from developing the iconic role of Claire Dunphey. Julie was pregnant with twins when she auditioned for the role and was so convincing that she landed the part even though the pilot would be filmed when she was nearly nine months along.
Amy Poehler on Parks and Recreation
When Amy Poehler became pregnant halfway through the second season of Parks and Recreation, the producers decided to go right into production on the next season instead of working the pregnancy into the storyline. They managed to bank six episodes for season three by dressing Poehler in looser blazers and workwear.
Blake Lively in The Shallows
As a self-proclaimed breeder, many people were amazed how quickly Blake Lively got bikini-ready for staring in The Shallows just eight months after giving birth to her first child. Little did they realize she was already pregnant with Baby Number Two by the end of filming.
Debra Messing in Will & Grace
When all else fails, throw in the towel! That's quite literally how Debra Messing's pregnancy during the sixth season of Will & Grace was handled. She was shot clutching towels in front of her or standing behind large tables that didn't offer much by way of camouflage.
Alyson Hannigan on How I Met Your Mother
Writers didn't think it was the right time for characters Lily and Marshall to have a baby when Alyson Hannigan was pregnant the first time around. For most of the season, the show used set hacks and oversized purses to hide her belly, but they did have fun in one particular episode.
Cobie Smulders on How I Met Your Mother
Ironically, Cobie Smulders was pregnant at the same time as co-star Alyson Hannigan. Since her character, Robin, was so against having kids, the crew had to work diligently to camouflage her pregnancy as well.
Anne Hathaway in Colossal
When director Nacho Vigalondo learned Anne Hathaway was pregnant, he was concerned she would back out of her role in Colossal. Instead, she was still excited about her role as an alcoholic writer. Vigalondo reasoned, "Your character's drunk, you’re bloated, it’s perfect!"
Zooey Deschanel on New Girl
Like Parks and Recreation, The New Girl cast and crew worked a continuous production schedule to wrap up the first four episodes of season five before Zooey Deschanel took her maternity leave.
Kate Winslet in Divergent
Kate Winslet has handled three pregnancies while in Hollywood, but her last was already five months along when she appeared in Divergent as Jeanine Matthews. Kate spent the film dressed in dark colors and holding a folder or tablet strategically in front of her stomach.
Madonna in Evita
Surprising to many is that Madonna was pregnant with her daughter, Lourdes, for the entire filming of Evita. As her bump grew, producers had to utilize creative film angles, baggy clothes and thoughtful prop choices to successfully hide it.
Reese Witherspoon in Vanity Fair
After spending 10 years to get to the point of filming, the 18-week pre-production schedule of Vanity Fair had to suddenly be sped up to accommodate Reese Witherspoon's pregnancy with future son Deacon. Fortunately, at five months pregnant, the voluminous period dresses of the 19th century were enough to hide her changing figure.
Penelope Cruz in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
One of the most creative ways filmmakers have hidden a pregnancy was with Penelope Cruz. When Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' director Rob Marshall found out Cruz was pregnant, he called in her near-identical sister, Monica.
Emily Blunt in Into the Woods and Girl on the Train
Emily Blunt has not once but twice starred in films while pregnant. Because her character in Into The Woods desperately wanted to have a child but was unable to, it was important to keep Blunt's pregnancy fully concealed. The costume department was able to use period clothing to keep her bump hidden, and co-star James Corden was positioned in front of her for many scenes.
Helena Bonham Carter in Sweeney Todd
Helena Bonham Carter didn't have to worry about being recast if she became pregnant before filming Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street because the director was her baby daddy. After two years of infertility struggles, Bonham Carter and Tim Burton were actually considering in vitro fertilization when she became pregnant with their second child.
Anna Paquin on True Blood
When Anna Paquin was uncharacteristically covered up in season five of True Blood, fans knew something was up with the actress who was never afraid to bare all on the HBO series. Turns out the actress was using pajamas, blankets and pillows to hide her six-month pregnant belly full of twins.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Seinfeld
When Julia Louis-Dreyfus told Jerry Seinfeld that she was pregnant while working on the third season of the show, he suggested they have Elaine get fat. Julia admits to bursting into tears because she was offended and, you know, pregnancy hormones didn't help either.
Kristen Bell on House of Lies
When Kristen Bell was seven months pregnant during season two of House of Lies, her character, Jeannie van der Hooven, was dealing with a leaked sex tape.
Isla Fisher in Burke and Hare
Ever the actress, Isla Fisher used her skills to hide her pregnancy from the entire cast and crew of Burke and Hare. Her period-costume included a full corset that she only pretended to wear while she instead used a push-up bra to fool everyone including director John Landis.
Jane Leeves on Frasier
Unlike Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jane Leeves was game for playing the fat card when she was pregnant during the eighth season of Frasier. Daphne develops a compulsive-eating disorder to cope with her fear of being unable to live up to Niles's lofty expectations.
Christian Serratos on The Walking Dead
When Christian Serratos joined The Walking Dead as Rosita, her character frequently showed off her midriff. In late season six through seven, tight clothes were exchanged for baggy shirts, and she was frequently filmed in a crouched position or carrying a big gun to hide her growing belly.
Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman
When watching Wonder Woman and seeing Gal Gadot's stunning figure, it is shocking to learn she was five months pregnant for some of those scenes. While skillful camera work was enough for much of the movie, later reshoots required some CGI magic.