Even during pregnancies women still have responsibilities and commitments that have to be fulfilled. Most people might think this is because there is a lack of maternity leave or a financial need, and A-list stars are not excluded from these commitments. If they have a contract they have to fulfill it no matter what.
Additionally, many women actually love to continue working while they’re pregnant because they feel more fulfilled. This is especially true for some of the women on this list who actually shot some of your favorite films and shows while pregnant. What’s more interesting is the fact that most people didn’t even know that they were pregnant at the time.
Not only was this true for the audience but also some of the filmmakers, as being pregnant could mean that they would be recast. Whatever the case was, it took us all by surprise to find out that these actors were creating life while creating art. Without further ado, here are 20 celebs who were so good at hiding their pregnancies while filming that we had no idea.
20. SCARLETT JOHANSSON
Scarlett Johansson had the full support of her cast and crew when filming Avengers: Age of Ultron while pregnant. This was lucky for the actress, who had to wear a skin-tight lycra catsuit during her action scenes because she would get swapped out with her stunt double whenever it appeared obvious that she was pregnant. Additionally, her co-stars would happily take some of her action sequences for themselves, as they didn’t want their co-star to put herself in the position where she could harm her unborn baby, even though her contract asked her to do much of her own stunt work. Thankfully, Johansson also had help from the CGI team, who put her face on her stunt double’s body, making nobody aware of the fact that she was pregnant until she told the press months later.
19. AMY POEHLER
Amy Poehler was also an actress who had the full support of her production team during the time she was pregnant and filming Parks and Recreation. The production found out that Poehler was pregnant by the end of filming Season 2; therefore, they decided to shoot the first six episodes of the following season right away, so they could avoid having to cover her growing belly. As time wen ton, she became more visibly pregnant, so the show had to get creative with how they hid it, as her character wasn’t supposed to be with child. In the episode, “Time Capsule,” the filmmakers used props to hide the fact that she was already showing. Luckily, this worked, and most people had no idea.
18. JEMIMA KIRK
Jemima Kirk gave birth to her child mere months after finishing production on the Second Season of HBO’s hit show Girls. This meant that she spent much of her time shooting the show while very pregnant. This wasn’t dissimilar to the pilot of the series, which Kirk filmed 20-months after having her daughter, Rafaella. Kirk wanted to pass on the show because she was still not back to her normal body. But Lena Dunham was certain that she wanted Kirk in her show. During the Second Season, the filmmakers used the same tricks they used on Kirk in the pilot, hiding her belly under flowing gowns that suited her character, Jessa.
17. CLAIRE DANES
Claire Danes usually has to do a lot of physical action sequences for her hit show Homeland. This posed a problem during the production of the Second Season of the show when she was becoming more and more pregnant. She told The Hollywood Reporter, “At one point, we were shooting in an old sewage factory. … I was chained to a pipe, it was 4 a.m., I was 7½ months pregnant, and I was like, ‘This sucks.” Danes also had to do a number of other scenes where she actually had to get a “belly double” to hide the fact that she was pregnant. At least, she had the full support of her cast and crew during this time. This was the same with Morena Baccarin, who also became pregnant while filming the Third Season of the show.
16. REESE WITHERSPOON
Perhaps you don’t remember the 2004 film Vanity Fair, but it was an important movie in Reese Witherspoon’s life. This was because she had to film the costume drama while she was very pregnant with one of her boys, Deacon. This made it particularly hard on the costume designers who had to create outfits that were appropriate for the period but also allowed Witherspoon not to feel too constricted while she was growing. Luckily, they were able to make large, billowy gowns that hid her baby belly incredibly efficiently. This worked so well that most of the crew actually had no clue that she was very pregnant.
15. COURTNEY COX
The fact that Courtney Cox got pregnant during the filming of the final season of Friends was particularly unfortunate for the story since her character Monica had found a surrogate for her babies because she and Chandler were unable to have kids of their own. This meant that it was vital that the filmmakers find a way to hide her growing belly, as it would completely contradict the story they were telling. In some moments, if you look hard enough, you could see that Cox looked a tad bigger than she had before. But, for the most, part, the filmmakers hid the fact that she was pregnant quite well. In order to do this, they gave her long, baggy tops and scarves, as well as constantly put her behind objects like tables and even other characters.
14. ANNA CHLUMSKY
With HBO’s hit show VEEP about to air its Final Season, it’s important that we include Anna Chlumsky, AKA everyone’s favorite child actor from My Girl. During the filming of the second season of the hilarious political satire, the actor became pregnant, even though there is no way that her character Amy would have had kids at the time. When you’re the VP’s top aide, you wouldn’t find the time. When asked about how the show’s crew handled the pregnancy, Chlumsky said, “We started to have to get a little creative in maybe the last episode. But the nice [thing] is it took place in the winter so everyone’s wearing jackets anyway.”
13. BLAKE LIVELY
It should take everyone aback that Blake Lively was actually pregnant while filming the shark film The Shallows. After all, she had to be wearing swimwear for most of the film. Not only that, but she had to do some pretty demanding stunts for the nerve-racking movie. Luckily for her, and the studio, The Gossip Girl star was newly pregnant; therefore she was barely showing. However, as the filming wen ton, she started to show more and more. This caused the film’s post-production team to use CGI to make her character look consistently trim and ready to battle a giant great white shark.
12. DEBRA MESSING
NBC’s hit-show Will & Grace had to completely alter the style of Debra Messing’s character, Grace Adler. In the first few seasons, the character swayed more toward tight clothing. This would set up many opportunities for other characters, mainly Karen Walker, to make fun of her. But when Messing got pregnant during the filming of the Sixth Season, Grace’s style became significantly baggier in order to hide her showing belly. Additionally, Messing is usually holding something like a jacket or towel in order to hide it even more. For the most part, fans had no clue. But the press wasn’t happy about it, as they didn’t like the fact that the filmmakers were hiding Messing’s pregnancy.
11. KRISTEN BELL
Kristen Bell was exceptionally lucky when shooting House of Lies while pregnant. The first time she was carrying her and Dax Shepard’s child, the filmmakers completely took out her showing belly via CGI. This was because her character was in no position to have a child on the show, as she was very romantically active. Although this was particularly difficult, most fans had absolutely no clue that it had happened. When she got pregnant the second time, the filmmakers actually worked it into the plot, as her character had evolved and was ready for children of her own. Still, fans had no clue that Bell was legitimately pregnant while her character was carrying.
10. JULIE BOWEN
You should definitely take the time to go and rewatch the pilot episode of Modern Family. This is because it will be hard not to notice that Julie Bowen was 8.5 months pregnant during its filming now that you know. Of course, nobody but the crew had a clue at the time. This is because Bowen was constantly holding a laundry hamper in front of her stomach and wearing baggier clothes to conceal the fact that she was pregnant. She was able to do this because she begged her representation and the filmmakers to let her have the role even though she was almost ready to pop. It was one of the best scripts she’d read and she wasn’t about to let it go.
9. JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS
It would have made zero sense for Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Eliane to have kids on the masterpiece that is Seinfeld. After all, her character, just like the rest of them, was just too selfish and self-absorbed to have kids at all. But the multiple-Emmy-winning actress got pregnant twice during the show’s nine-year run. Creators Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David were adamant about not writing Louis-Dreyfus off for a while, as they knew she was integral to the show’s success. Luckily for them, Eliane tended to gravitate toward baggier clothing to begin with, making it easier for them to hide the truth.
8. ISLA FISHER
If you don’t know Isla Fisher, you absolutely should. Not only star in Leonardo Dicaprio’s The Great Gatsby, but she was also that lunatic from The Wedding Crashers. In short, this actor is incredibly talented and even married to another talented performer, Sacha Baron Cohen. During the filming of John Landis’ comedy, Burke and Hare, Fisher was pregnant with one of her three kids with Cohen. In order to hide her pregnancy, the costume designer made sure that she was wrapped in gowns, capes, and fur hand-warmers that suited the Regency-period setting. Luckily, the actor was merely three months along at the time. Still, she didn’t want anybody else to know as she didn’t want to be turfed from the film or treated differently.
7. NAOMI WATTS
Nobody, not even Naomi Watts, knew that she as expecting two weeks into filming of the brilliant mob thriller Eastern Promises alongside Viggo Mortensen. After she found out, she immediately wasn’t happy about the fact that she had filmed real scenes on a speedy motorcycle. After she and the crew found out that she was carrying a child, she immediately took it easy and let her stunt double do a bunch of the work that she would have done. Regardless, nobody else knew about it as she was merely at the beginning of her pregnancy and not yet showing. In Eastern Promises, Watts played a midwife, which she says actually prepared her for being a first-time mom to her son, Sasha.
6. HELENA BONHAM CARTER
Helena Bonham Carter had no issues keeping her role in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street after she found out she was pregnant. This was because her baby-daddy was the director, Tim Burton. Usually, this would be a reason why the filmmakers would recast the role, especially since her character was always wearing corsets. Luckily for her, this didn’t happen. Bonham Carter and Burton worked closely with the costume designers to create pieces that suited the character but also allowed the actor to feel comfortable while she started to show. If you rewatch the film, it’s virtually impossible to tell that she was pregnant.
5. CARICE VAN HOUTEN
With the final season of HBO’s humungous hit Game of Thrones about to air, everyone is thinking about how Carice van Houten’s Melisandre will return. At the beginning of the Seventh Season, her character decided to remove herself from the conflict to go on some sort of quest. Although this could have been entirely a story choice, it actually coincided with van Houten’s pregnancy. Rather, she had literally just given birth six weeks before she started to film Season Seven. This didn’t give her enough time to go back to her previous figure. Therefore, her baby belly was hidden under Melisandre’s signature flowing red robes and nobody was the wiser. After she shot a couple of scenes, she was allowed to return to her baby for the first year of his life.
4. GAL GADOT
Nothing makes Gal Gadot a more perfect Wonder Woman than the fact that she was actually pregnant while filming the epic superhero blockbuster. Although the talented and philanthropic actor (from Israel) wasn’t pregnant during principal photography, she did have to return to the London soundstage to reshoot some scenes. During this time, she was very much showing. This is why the costume had to be adjusted to hide her belly. However, as Gadot said to Entertainment Weekly, it didn’t entirely work: “On close-up, I looked very much like Wonder Woman. On wide shots, I looked very funny, like Wonder Woman pregnant with Kermit the Frog.”
3. LUCILLE BALL
Lucille Ball paved the way for the vast majority of women in comedy, but she also opened up the door for women to show that they were pregnant on television. Back in the ’50s, it wasn’t okay for a woman to be seen pregnant on television. This is why she had to completely hide the fact that she was with child on I Love Lucy. Although she didn’t tell anybody for a while, the filmmakers eventually found out and had to get creative with how they hid this fact. Just a year later, Lucille became pregnant with her second child. This caused the producers to take the risk and make her character pregnant, as well. Showing a very real pregnancy on television for the first time allowed others to do the same, and the world hasn’t looked back since.
2. PARMINDER NAGRA
Michael Chricton’s hit-show ER depicted many pregnant characters, but Parminder Nagra’s character wasn’t one of them. In fact, the producers didn’t want the character to be pregnant on the show; therefore they found a number of great ways to hide her growth. Luckily for them, a hospital, where the show took place, presents many opportunities to hide a baby belly. For instance, they had Negra stand behind an X-ray film, or medical carts, or even wearing bulky scrubs. The latter actually made it easier for Negra, as she didn’t have to wear tight clothing while pregnant. All of these reasons are why the fanbase was completely in the dark about her pregnancy until she finally had the baby.
1. HALLE BERRY
Unfortunately, Halle Berry didn’t receive the luxury of having a positive experience while shooting pregnant. The Oscar-winning actor is known for playing the X-Mencharacter Storm in the early 2000s. Therefore, fans were thrilled that she reprised her role in the 2014 sequel/prequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past. Unfortunately, Berry was hardly in the film since most of her scenes had to be cut entirely. This is because she started to show through her tight costume, causing the filmmakers to include her only momentarily in a few action sequences. During these scenes, which were fast-tracked to avoid cutting her entirely, Berry was fit into the uncomfortable costume we see here.