Pregnant On The Job: 15 Actresses Who Didn’t Take Maternity Leave

In: Pop Culture
Pregnant On The Job: 15 Actresses Who Didn’t Take Maternity Leave

Pregnancy is a very special period in the life of every woman. It’s all about one-of-a-kind moments, like having a tiny human being inside their belly, as well as all the changes that happen in the body like, hormonal changes, weight gain, weird cravings, morning sickness, exhaustion, and so on, and so forth. More often than not, most women have to overcome all these challenges and keep on working while being pregnant (at least for some time). And famous actresses are no different. Many of them also choose to continue the filming process despite their growing bellies. Sometimes screenwriters add an unexpected pregnancy into the script, but most often the baby bump needs to be concealed by baggy clothing and camera tricks. And sometimes it’s done so diligently, that only a very careful viewer can guess that the actress was expecting a baby during filming.

Behold the actresses who didn’t take maternity leaves but decided to continue working to keep their fans (and bank accounts) happy.

15. Lisa Kudrow, ‘Friends’

Via: Zimbio

Did you know that Phoebe Buffay’s pregnancy with her brother’s triplets wasn’t in the script of Friends at first? They had to add it to the show when they learned that Lisa Kudrow was pregnant in real life. I have no idea what they had in store for season four, but adding the triplets storyline, instead of concealing the actress’ pregnancy, turned out to be great. It added a lot of hilarious moments, especially when Phoebe baffled everyone, saying that she was getting ready to give birth to her brother’s kids.

To make Phoebe look even more pregnant than the actress actually was, she had to wear cushioning on her belly. And there was an episode where Kudrow wasn’t pregnant anymore, but Phoebe still was. It was actually the first episode of season five, “The One After Ross Says Rachel.”

14. Courteney Cox, ‘Friends’

Via: ottawacitizen

Lisa Kudrow wasn’t the only Friends actress who got pregnant during filming. Her colleague, Courteney Cox, was also expecting a baby when season 10 was being made. But in her case, pregnancy couldn’t be included into the storyline, since it has already been established that Monica Geller couldn’t have kids with her husband, Chandler Bing. For this reason, hiding the actress’ bun in the oven became the duty of costume designers. Only a very attentive viewer would notice something suspicious behind all these scarves, jackets, sweaters, and multiple layers of clothes Monica began to wear toward the end of the series. Also, at times, the actress would cover her baby bump with a basket, a bag, or something else she was holding in her hands. Good job! I’d never even guess that she was pregnant!

13. Helena Bonham Carter, ‘Sweeney Todd’

Via: BumpThis

Helena Bonham Carter was in a relationship with Tim Burton and took part in many of his movies (often along with Johnny Depp). Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street was one of them. But this one was special, as the actress was pregnant while it was being made. It’s hard to imagine being pregnant and having to wear tight corsets, but Bonham Carter did it for the sake of art.

If you’re really attentive while watching the movie, you’ll notice one thing, since the movie was filmed out of order: the actress’ chest size changes all the time. As Bonham Carter joked; “Anyone who pays attention to my breast size will see there’s no continuity … I start off with huge breasts and then I walk upstairs and suddenly I’ve got tangerines again. It’s melons to tangerines.”

Revealing her interesting sense of humor, Bonham Carter also commented; “I’m convinced that whatever state you’re in during your pregnancy has a huge influence on the baby’s personality — so I hope we haven’t produced a little serial killer!” Gosh, I hope so, too!

12. Alyson Hannigan, ‘How I Met Your Mother’

Via: Ritely

Alyson Hannigan (Lily Aldrin) was pregnant twice during filming How I Met Your Mother. At first, screenwriters decided not to include her pregnancy into the show, so her baby bump was hidden behind all these baggy clothes. Only once in the series we were able to see her belly. It was in the episode where Lily took part in a hot dog eating contest and won. Remember how she stood up to cheer and show us her round belly? According to the script, it was due to Lily’s full stomach, but actually, it was her cute baby bump.

When Hannigan was pregnant for the second time, it timed up with her character’s pregnancy, so the belly didn’t need to be hidden again. Both Hannigan’s daughter and Lily’s son were born in May 2012.

11. Cobie Smulders, ‘How I Met Your Mother’

Via: HuffPost

Cobie Smulders (Robin Scherbatsky) was also pregnant while starring in How I Met You Mother. What’s interesting, is both Smulders and Alyson Hannigan were pregnant at the same time, so the crew had to cover up two pregnancies at once! After all, there was no way they could include Smulders’ pregnancy into the show; revealing that Robin was unable to have children was important later in the series.

As usual, it was the costume designers’ task to camouflage Smulders’ pregnancy with layers of clothing and scarves. She was taking large handbags along with her to cover her round stomach in most scenes. I bet all the whole casting team said “Phew” when both actresses gave birth to their children and everyone could go back to the normal shooting process (without having to think of new ways to cover their baby bumps).

10. Sarah Jessica Parker, ‘ Sex And The City’

Via: HealthyWay

The fans of Sex and the City were well aware that Carrie Bradshaw was into fashion. So seeing that she suddenly began wearing baggy clothes didn’t really surprise anyone. Everyone just thought that it was a new fashion trend. However, it didn’t have anything to do with fashion. It was the trick of costume designers to hide Sarah Jessica Parker’s pregnancy. And since Parker didn’t seem to gain weight anywhere else except for her belly, it wasn’t too difficult to cover up her bump.

But to make things easier for Parker and for the costume designers, it was decided to make the fifth season of the show shorter, so that the actress didn’t have to play her role later in pregnancy. As a result, there were only eight episodes instead of 13. I’m not sure if fans of the series liked that change, though.

9. Reese Witherspoon, ‘Vanity Fair’

Via: ABCLocal

Reese Witherspoon, who was five months pregnant while starring in Vanity Fair, benefited from the voluminous costumes that helped cover her baby bump. Apart from these well-designed dresses, filmmakers came up with a number of other tricks, such as giving proper lightning, avoiding to film Reese below the waist, and having her standing behind furniture. As a result of all these efforts, it was nearly impossible to guess that the actress was expecting a baby at the time.

When the filming process was over, Witherspoon shared that she enjoyed working on it while being pregnant. “I love the luminosity that pregnancy brings, I love the fleshiness, I love the ample bosom — it gave me much more to play with,” she admitted. Well, I can’t help but agree that Reese looked sparkling in the movie.

8. Ellen Pompeo, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Via: EssentialBaby

During the sixth season of Grey’s Anatomy, Ellen Pompeo got pregnant. And since screenwriters didn’t want to add pregnancy into the script, everyone had to figure out how to get out of a scrape. At first, it was enough to have Pompeo put on scrubs (it was good that her character worked at a hospital and didn’t need to wear tight-fitting clothes on the set), which helped to hide the belly very well. They also got craft and decided that they could film her standing behind an operating table. But when the naturally slim actress became heavily pregnant and it became nearly impossible to hide the belly, they had to come up with new ideas. So they added a storyline where Meredith donated part of her liver to her father. Due to this plot turn, Pompeo finally could get some time off. I bet she needed it a lot.

7. Julia Roberts, ‘Ocean’s Twelve’

Via: Ranker

When starring in Ocean’s Twelve, Julia Roberts was expecting her twins. It was so nice that the well-known pranksters George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon left aside their desire to play jokes on their colleagues and took real care of Roberts on the set. The actress recalled; “At George’s house, I remember walking down this path pregnant with Phinn and Hazel and turning the corner, and all the boys were sitting at the table having lunch. They were like, ‘Oh, come sit down.’ I wasn’t allowed to walk the stairs. It was such a sweet shift in our relationships because originally, it was all pranks and teasing each other. And here I am pregnant, so it’s like pulling out my chair and just making sure I have enough water and, ‘Are you feeling okay? You look a little peaked.’ ‘I’m fine’.” Aww, gotta love this kind of working relationship.

6. Gillian Anderson, ‘X-Files’

Via: EOnline

Gillian Anderson got pregnant when she was starring in the second reason of X-Files. It’s logical that screenwriters couldn’t add pregnancy into the script of this kind of series, so they had to get creative and conceal Anderson’s baby bump with having her wear giant coats and positioning her behind the furniture. Of course, at some point in the series, the actress’ belly became so big that it was no longer possible to hide it. So it was decided to make a plot twist that wouldn’t leave fans disappointed. Dana Scully ended up being abducted by the aliens and was later shown only in a comatose state.

I have to admit, it was a perfect solution; it explained the actress’ absence for several episodes and was very typical of the series.

5. Kate Winslet, ‘Divergent’

Via: DailyMail

Have you seen Divergent? If you have, did you notice that Kate Winslet’s character Jeanine Matthews almost always had something in her hands? Just like the photo above, where she’s holding a big folder beside her stomach. I bet you had no idea that she did it for a reason; she was hiding her five-month pregnancy. For the same reason, the actress was always wearing black clothing. And in some scenes that had the slightest risk for the actress and her future baby, there was a stunt double acting instead of Winslet.

After she gave birth to her son, Winslet returned to the set to do some additional photographs and reshoots. In between the takes, she continued taking care of her newborn son. What a hard-working mom!

4. Claire Danes, ‘Homeland’

Via: NYDailyNews

Claire Danes was pregnant during filming season two of Homeland. According to her own words, these shootings were the most difficult she’s ever had. “I was pregnant for the second season of Homeland, and as my baby progressed, the show got more action-packed,” Danes shared. “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 7½ months pregnant, and I was like, ‘This sucks.'” Danes went on to add; “I had to do love scenes pregnant. That was really unpleasant.” Wow, that must’ve been a whole new level of discomfort!

The filmmakers did a great job concealing Danes’ pregnancy; all the clever angles and CGI effects left no suspicious bumps, and even attentive fans didn’t guess that the actress was expecting a baby at the moment.

3. Scarlett Johansson, ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’

Via: Eonline

Playing a superhero isn’t a piece of cake; you have to do all these tricks that you don’t do in normal, everyday life. So playing a superhero while being pregnant must be even more physically demanding. Scarlett Johansson learned it on her own account when she was starring in Avengers: Age of Ultron. And did she enjoy filming while pregnant? Actually, she did! The actress even said that she liked the filming process more than usual. She shared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show,“Everybody had to be nice to me, which was cool. I felt like I kinda got like a free pass like I didn’t have too much rough housing from the guys, which is always good.” Johansson went on to ad, “I was really happy to be working. I never thought I’d be working in that condition.”

Isn’t it cool that Johansson found the filming process nice and enjoyable, even though she had a bun in the oven?

2. Angelina Jolie, ‘The Changeling’

Via: SheKnows

The Changeling is a very touching and emotional movie that tells a story about a woman who loses her son and strives to find him. And it’s so interesting that while starring in this movie, Angelina Jolie got pregnant! After the filming process was over, she told the crew that she was expecting a baby, and everyone was baffled. No one had any idea during the shootings. Later, the actress shared; “I got pregnant right in the middle of it and, I think, partially because of it. I was so emotional about children that I think something kicked into gear.” It seemed to have been perfect timing! And imagine how fun it’s going to be to show this movie to her twins Knox and Vivienne when they grow up. I can imagine Jolie telling them, “And here I was pregnant with you two, but no one even knew about it.” What a sweet moment.

1. Gal Gadot, ‘Wonder Woman’

Via: Lehren

Gal Gadot is one of the most recent examples of how a woman can stretch the limits during her pregnancy. I mean, have you ever thought about a pregnant Wonder Woman before?

At first, Gal didn’t even tell the crew that she was pregnant because she didn’t want to be treated differently on the set. But when the actress was five months pregnant and they were doing reshoots, she couldn’t hide it anymore and the CGI team kicked in. Gadot shared in her interview with Entertainment Weekly; “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.” In case you’re wondering, she said Kermit the Frog because she had her baby bump covered with green fabric that would allow it to be hidden in post-production. Did anyone take photos of Gal during these reshoots? Because I’m dying to see how she looked all tough and with a green belly!

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