How 10 TV Stars Masterfully Disguised Their Real-Life Pregnancies!


Many actresses transform their appearance when they take on a role. One thing the ladies can’t easily hide? Being pregnant!

The question of how to shoot around a pregnant actress has long challenged TV productions. Challenges can inspire creativity — more than a few have developed season- or series-long arcs in response to an actress’s happy news. We took a look at ten cases where TV shows dealt with baby bumps by introducing extended spa getaways, standing behind furniture, and, yep even getting pregnant was written into their storyline.

1. January Jones, Mad Men

During Season 5, Jones didn't want to try and hide her bump. So show creators wrote in a sudden weight gain for Jones’ character, Betty Draper. Not only did Jones work while pregnant, she also had to wear heavy prosthetics during shooting.

2. Kerry Washington, Scandal

Washington became pregnant during Season 3 of Scandal. She said she went through an “amazing physical transition, this physical journey of having a baby, that my character was not going through.” The show used many different ways to hide her pregnancy, such as hiding the bump behind large purses, placing her behind lamp shades, and only shooting her from the chest up.

3. Courteney Cox, Friends

Show producers had no choice but to hide Cox’s belly. Her character, Monica, was unable to conceive, so she and Chandler (Matthew Perry) were adopting when Cox became pregnant in real life. Her baby bump was covered by loose clothing for most of the final season of Friends.

4. Alyson Hannigan and Cobie Smulders, How I Met Your Mother

Both Hannigan and Smulders were pregnant during Season 4, so the show decided to playfully hide their bumps behind ironic things like a rack of basketballs or a globe. In the GIF shown above, Hannigan’s character, Lily, has a bulging belly because she had just won an eating contest.

5. Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Poehler was pregnant during production in 2010. It was hidden on the show with baggy clothing and by using tight shots during filming.

6. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Seinfeld

In Season 3, Jerry Seinfeld suggested writing in that Elaine gets “fat.” Louis-Dreyfus broke into tears. She ended up using coats, books, and presents. She was even absent from the beginning of Season 4 to give birth.

7. Claire Danes, Homeland

In Season 2, Danes wanted to shoot through her pregnancy without using camera tricks to hide her bump, but eventually, producers decided she was showing too much. They ended up using a series of creative tight shots and a belly double for wider shots to hide her baby bump.

8. Leah Remini, King of Queens

During the sixth season of King of Queens, Remini was pregnant. The writers made her character unemployed and always in baggy clothing to make her pregnancy weight gain seem intentional.

9. Lisa Kudrow, Friends

Kudrow had it easier than most pregnant actresses. In real life, she was pregnant with her son during the fourth season of Friends, but it was actually written into the part. The show didn’t necessarily hide her pregnancy, they just made her pregnant with triplets and emphasized her real baby bump even more. Her character, Phoebe Buffay, was a surrogate who delivered her brother’s triplets.

10. Keri Russell, The Americans

Russell and her co-star, Matthew Rhys, were not only onscreen lovers, they had real-life romance as well. During Season 4 of The Americans, the show was able to hide Russell’s baby bump with bags of groceries, baskets, and large coats. The show also resorted to computer-generated graphics to removet the bump altogether.

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