What outfit, special effect, or item would you use to hide a pregnant woman’s belly? Maybe the question sounds a little strange, but for film producers to see that one of their heroines has become pregnant before or during the filming, it is a very serious matter. From using the classic baggy clothes trick to resorting to editing to replace an actress’s face in a stunt double’s body, Hollywood’s thinking minds have already shown they are capable of disappearing with big bellies as if they were true David Copperfield-level illusionists.
1. Kate Winslet c Divergent
Who saw the first part of the saga Divergent I certainly noticed that for the most part Erudite Faction leader Jeanine Matthews appears on screen holding an item. Since Kate was five months pregnant during filming, her character always strategically covered her belly, whether with an iPad or a briefcase.
Despite her pregnancy, the actress filmed some of her action scenes until the director chose to hire a stuntwoman. “Finally, [o diretor] Neil Burger said: “Enough, I’m too nervous. You can’t do that anymore,” said the author of the saga.
2. Emily Blunt Forest paths
Ironically, Emily was pregnant when she played a woman who wants to have a child but can’t. According to Meryl Streep, the production always put James Corden, Blunt’s husband in the film, in front of the belly.
Additionally, the costume designer was responsible for adjusting Emily’s outfit every four or five days, given that the actress was seven months pregnant during filming. “I hid behind every tree that existed in this forest,” the actress joked.
3. Penelope Cruz c Caribbean Pirates in uncharted waters
Penelope joined the franchise Pirates of the Caribbean to give life to Angelica, the daughter of Blackbeard. The actress trained for two months to learn how to use a sword and do fight scenes. However, before filming begins, she finds out she is pregnant, which will prevent her from participating in the action shoot.
Not wanting to replace Penelope, the director had a brilliant idea: hire Monica Cruz, the actress’s sister, as his understudy. In addition to complicating the fight scenes, Monica helped with some shots where the team needed a different silhouette.
4. Gal Gadot c Wonder Woman
When it came time to reshoot some scenes of the film, Gal Gadot had a five-month pregnant belly, something that would be impossible to hide in the tight superheroine uniform. So the costume designers decided to cut out the front of the clothes, replacing it with green fabric. In this way, it was possible to change the silhouette of the actress in the editing phase of the film.
5. Julia Roberts c Twelve men and another secret
What better way to hide a pregnancy than to fake the condition? Although the actress appears in the opening scenes of the film with a camera close to her face and wearing baggy clothes, we later see her character Tess pretend to be a pregnant Julia Roberts in order to steal a Fabergé egg. This is because instead of trying to cover up Julia’s pregnancy during filming, the team decided to work it into the plot by making her belly look fake.
6. Marcia Cross c Wake up the hosts
Since the plot of the series’ third season was already well defined, it would have been impossible to include Marcia’s pregnancy. In view of this, it was necessary to resort to large outerwear, close-ups and positioning objects in front of the actress to strategically cover her belly, like a gingerbread house.
Interestingly, in the next season and after giving birth to her twins, the actress had to play with a fake belly to show a different phase of her character.
7. Reese Witherspoon c Vanity Fair
In the film adaptation of William Makepeace’s novel, the director had to rely on voluminous 19th-century clothing to conceal Reese’s five months of pregnancy. Also, in some scenes it was necessary to strategically position the furniture so that the belly would not appear on the screen.
“We had some scenes where my stomach popped a little, but we found solutions,” the actress said.
8. Sarah Jessica Parker c Sex and the city
While Carrie Bradshaw, the character of Sarah, was ready to run wild and enjoy freedom, the actress was waiting for the birth of her first child. Since maternity did not suit the character, it was necessary to rethink the entire costume. In previous seasons, Carrie wore fitted dresses, but in season five of Sex and the city the decision was to bet on loose clothes and big bags.
9. Helena Bonham Carter c Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Working on Tim Burton’s iconic musical was a big challenge for the actress. Between the dance scenes and the fact that her partner in the scene, Johnny Depp, does not know how to dance the waltz, Helena had to do a real juggling act to play the well-remembered role: “I had morning sickness and nausea, like I was in my first trimester. It was hell,” he said.
To cover up the actress’ belly, Burton rushed the production and placed Helena’s scenes at the very beginning of the shooting schedule. With the dark suit and lighting changes, it was possible to successfully hide the belly. However, the actress made sure you could see her weight change between scenes as she wasn’t pregnant at the start of filming. Not to mention that the film was not shot in the order in which the footage is shown.
10. Scarlett Johansson c Avengers: Age of Ultron
During the filming of this film, in which we saw that the Black Widow cannot have children, Scarlett was waiting for the arrival of her daughter Rose. Therefore, the director combined the use of three body doubles, clothes that hide the stomach and different angles and shots to leave the superheroine with the same silhouette as always.
When the actress was unable to make any of the scenes, her replacements used dotted maps on her face so that it would be replaced by Scarlett’s face in the editing phase.
What do you think the experience of working while pregnant is? If you happen to have a baby and need to hide your belly until the child is born, what technique would you use?