pregnancy

"I had to do love scenes pregnant." 17 celebrities who played major roles while pregnant.

Ever wondered what happens when an actress gets pregnant smack bang in the middle of filming a movie or tv show? Like, what if the filmmakers can't write it into the storyline? And what if they can't kill the character off or send them on a 'holiday' because they're playing a leading role? What happens then?

Well, they get creative! 

More often than not, the filmmakers are so good at it you barely even notice. But sometimes, there are sneaky giveaways - like characters wearing progressively more oversized clothing. Or suspiciously holding things in front of their bellies.

Watch: Things pregnant people NEVER say. Post continues below. 


Video via Mamamia. 

Did you know Courtney Cox was pregnant in Friends? Or that Gal Gadot was expecting during the filming of Wonder Woman? Or that Sarah Jessica Parker was having her first child in Sex and the City?

We've pulled together 14 celebrities who filmed iconic roles while secretly rocking a bump.

Claire Danes pregnant in Homeland

Claire Danes was pregnant with both her sons, Cyrus and Rowan, while filming the hit TV series Homeland.

"With Cyrus, I started [filming] in my second trimester. I was eight months pregnant when we finished," said Danes, according to USA Today.

"With Rowan, I was filming during the first and second trimester. So, I got it from both ends. I got the nausea and fatigue, and then the huge belly they had to digitally erase."

The actress even had to film love scenes while pregnant. 

"As my baby progressed, the show got more action-packed. At one point, we were shooting in an old sewage factory. I was kidnapped, I was chained to a pipe, it was 4 a.m., I was seven and a half months pregnant, and I was like, 'This sucks,'" she told The Hollywood Reporter. 

"I had to do love scenes pregnant. That was really unpleasant."

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Thankfully Danes hard work paid off, and she ended up winning an Emmy Award for best actress while pregnant with Cyrus. 

Claire Danes at the Emmy Awards in 2012. Image: Getty.

Hilary Duff pregnant inYounger 

Hilary Duff was expecting her third child while filming the seventh and final season of Younger. 

In fact, the production was put on a tight schedule so filming could wrap before her daughter, Mae James Bair, was born earlier this year. 

"When I told her [Duff] we wanted to get back to work in October [2020], she said, ‘That’s great because I’m having a baby in March.’ And I thought, ‘Oh my god, we really have to stick to this schedule because otherwise, I don’t know what we’re going to do this season," the show's executive producer, Darren Star, told Entertainment Tonight. 

"The baby was calling the shots. She gave us the right kind of pressure to make this season happen.”

Not only did Duff have to film scenes while pregnant, she also had the added challenges of doing it during a pandemic.

"I was a little worried with the challenges of COVID and my pregnancy, but everything came together," she told Variety. 

"I’m all for mask-wearing, but huffing-and-puffing on set in a mask at eight months pregnant was a challenge. Fitting into clothes that aren’t made for a pregnant body was not always the most comfortable or fun."

Hilary Duff on season seven of Younger. Image: MTV Entertainment Studios.

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Kate Winslet pregnant in Divergent

Kate Winslet was five months pregnant when she played Jeanine Matthews in the 2014 film Divergent. 

If you look closely, you'll notice the Mare of Easttown actress pretty much always had something in her hands to cover her bump. 

"We had to be very strategic in the way that we shot her. She always had some sort of file or case in her hand that was sort of protecting, you know, her bump," director Neil Burger said on the film's audio commentary. 

Winslet also spoke about the tricks used to hide her bump during an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

"The number of takes where I’m, like, ‘Guys, if I’m in profile, you gotta give me an iPad or something to hold. I mean, seriously."

"Every day we were just tweaking the costumes a little more and adjusting things."

Understandably, a body double was also brought in to perform the physical stunts.

Image: Summit Entertainment.

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Sarah Jessica Parker pregnant in Sex and the City

Sarah Jessica Parker filmed season five of Sex and the City while pregnant with her first child, and honestly the entire crew deserves a gold star cause we had no idea. 

The costume department got creative with her clothes, dressing her character in lots of flowy dresses, while sneaky camera angles diverted the attention away from her bump. The season was also cut a little shorter than the rest (it went for eight episodes in total) so Parker could go on maternity leave.

Image: Getty 

Courteney Cox pregnant in Friends

If you're anything like us, Friends is just one of those comfy series' that you can watch again and again. But while you might be able to recall what happened in ALL of the episodes, ever, did you know that during the filming of the show, Monica Geller (played by Courteney Cox) was pregnant?

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Listen to Mamamia's Get Me Pregnant podcast, where we talk about putting your eggs on ice. Post continues below.

While the writers would've included her pregnancy in the story line, the entire season revolved around Chandler and Monica's inability to conceive a child... so they kinda couldn't. Instead, the show decided to camouflage the bump with coats, groceries and laundry baskets. Nailed it. 

Image: Getty 

Debra Messing pregnant in Will & Grace

Debra Messing got pregnant in season six of Will & Grace, but her character didn't. While most other shows got crafty when they couldn't tweak the script, tbh the show didn't really do a whole lot to try to hide it. 

Apart from a few tea towels and some large tables here and there, there wasn't a whole load of effort put in to trying to hide Messing's baby bump. She went on maternity leave in the eighth month of her pregnancy, and was written out of the season's final four episodes.

Image: Getty 

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Gal Gadot pregnant in Wonder Woman

Playing a superhero would be hard enough, but imagine trying to do it when you're five months pregnant! 

In case you don't know, Gal Gadot is known for doing all her own stunts (especially in the Fast & Furious franchise), so she wasn't about to do things differently when it came to her role as Diana Prince in Wonder Woman.

During the final editing and reshoots, Gadot eventually had to wear a green cloth over her bump that would be removed during final editing. So sneaky.

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus pregnant in Seinfeld

Julia Louis-Dreyfus wasn't just pregnant once, but twice during the long-running comedy Seinfeld. But thanks to her character Elaine's off-beat fashion styles, the show was able to conceal her baby bumps along with some handy camera work.

She told Vogue in an interview in 2019: "All this oversized clothing was very helpful to me as a pregnant person, both getting more and more pregnant and then becoming less and less pregnant after giving birth."

January Jones pregnant in Mad Men

Remember when January Jones donned a fat suit in Mad Men? Can you guess why? When Jones got pregnant, rather than writing it into the storyline the producers got ~extra~ creative with a subplot revolving around Betty gaining weight.

In an interview with Jimmy Fallon she said, "It was very difficult getting bigger and having to change the fat suit and the prosthetics. I had to arrive at work at 3 a.m. for six or seven hours of prosthetics." Sheesh!

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Ellen Pompeo pregnant in Grey's Anatomy

To hide star Ellen Pompeo’s pregnancy in the beginning of season six of Grey’s Anatomy, you'll notice throughout the show she was mostly shot from the back, neck up, or sitting down. (Anyone else going to use this as an excuse to watch it all over again? Anyone?).

When it was time for her maternity leave, producers had her character, Meredith Grey, donate part of her liver to her father. This allowed the star to take time off the show as Meredith went home to 'recuperate'. 

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Kerry Washington pregnant in Scandal

Kerry Washington was pregnant with her first child when she filmed season three of Scandal. Playing the badass character Olivia Pope, the show tried every trick in the book to hide her growing bump. 

From clever camera angles to outwear (there were a lot of structured coats going on) and the classic prop-in-front-of-the-bump trick, most people never even noticed she was pregnant.

Scarlett Johansson pregnant in Avengers: Age of Ultron

ScarJo was pregnant while playing the Black Widow during the filming of the Avengers movie. HOW? We hear you ask, as you think of that slinky black suit she wore throughout the film. 

Well, because technology. 

The producers used CGI to remove the baby bump from most of her scenes. Along with visual effects they made it work with three Black Widow stunt doubles, close-ups, concealing costumes and angles. Pretty nifty.

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Alyson Hannigan pregnant in How I Met Your Mother

You might not realise this, but during the fourth season of How I Met Your Mother, Alyson Hannigan (who played Lily Aldrin) was pregnant for most of it. However, the show was shot during the winter, so coats, scarves and jackets worked a treat for covering up her baby bump. 

However, in one particular episode, the writers decided to embrace the baby bump, having Hannigan's character compete in a hot dog eating competition, allowing her to show off her bump in guise of a bloated stomach. So. Good.

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Lisa Kudrow pregnant in Friends

Lisa Kudrow was another Friends star that fell pregnant during filming of season four, except unlike Courteney Cox, they wrote her pregnancy into the show. 

If you're a Friends fan, you'll know that Phoebe Buffay's pregnancy was unusual as hell - she offered to be a surrogate for her brother's triplets.

Blake Lively pregnant in The Shallows

Like Gadot, Blake Lively shot a whole heap of stunt-heavy scenes while carrying her second child during the filming of The Shallows. Lively plays a surfer who is fighting for her life after being attacked by a great white shark in the waters off a remote paradise. Not ideal.

"They didn't hire a stunt double till the last two weeks of shooting," the star told ET. "Every single day there wasn't a single scene that wasn't stunt-heavy."

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Angelina Jolie pregnant in Changeling

Angelina fell pregnant with TWINS during the filming of her movie Changeling, where she plays the mother of a kidnapped child. She chose not to reveal her pregnancy until the premiere of the movie.

In an interview with Los Angeles Times she said, "I got pregnant right in the middle of it and I think partially because of it. I was so emotional about children, that something in me kicked into gear." 

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Halle Berry pregnant in X-Men: Days Of Future Past

In other superhero pregnancies you probably didn't know about, Halle Berry was pregnant during the filming of X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Yep. When she had to wear that ridiculously skin-tight leather suit. 

The Oscar-winning actress said in an interview on the Queen Latifah Show, that being three months pregnant was an absolute "battle against the clock", with all her scenes being pushed to the beginning of the production due to the zip-tight costume. "I was busting out the suit!" she said.

This article was originally published on November 20, 2020, and was updated on June 16, 2021.

Which show do you think handled a surprise pregnancy the best? Share your comments with us in the comment section below.

Feature Image: Instagram @gal_gadot/Summit Entertainment/Getty.