As someone who has been pregnant (and worked while pregnant) I can attest that doing both at the same time is no joke – you’re tired, your feet (and other body parts) ache, and you’ve got a lot on your mind that doesn’t have to do with your job.
Add that to the desire of your employer to hide that pregnancy – in a visual medium, no less – and I’m 100% impressed with pregnant actresses who play non-pregnant roles through the nine months.
Once you know that’s what they’re doing you can often spot the tricks directors use to hide the reality, but either way, these 16 actresses totally deserve props for working through it!
16. Ellen Pompeo in Grey’s Anatomy
Ellen was pregnant during Season 6, and besides using a lot of closeups in her scenes, the writers also devised a plotline where she donated part of her liver to her father so she could have some bed rest and, eventually, maternity leave.
15. Blake Lively in The Shallows
This happened at the beginning of her second pregnancy, so while it was easy enough to conceal with surfboards and water, the early symptoms were probably rough.
14. Julia Roberts in Ocean’s Twelve
Instead of trying to hide this one, the writers went meta and had the character pretend to be a pregnant Julia Roberts.
13. Kerry Washington in Scandal
In season 6, wardrobe had to get creative with oversized coats and well-placed Prada bags. When she was pregnant in season 3 they shortened the season to compensate.
12. Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City
The lead character was pregnant during season 5, resulting in a delayed – and then shortened – season. When she was on set they hid her in baggy designer clothes.
11. Emily Blunt in Into the Woods
Thank goodness for trees, raised aprons, and a large-ish actor for a husband!
10. And again in The Girl on the Train
Baby number two took a bigger toll on Emily, but she claims her relentless fatigue actually helped her portray the depressed character.
9. January Jones in Mad Men
Betty Draper’s weight-gain storyline in season 5 was no accident – they were basically writing in her weight-gain from pregnancy (though she still had to wear fat suits and prosthetics).
8. Lisa Kudrow in Friends
They didn’t hide this one – Kudrow’s season 4 pregnancy resulted in the storyline of her acting as a surrogate for her brother Frank and his wife, Alice.
7. Amy Poehler in Parks & Recreation
Production and scheduling was strange during the first two years because Amy was pregnant not once, but twice.
6. Courtney Cox in Friends
There was an awkward moment during the final season when Courtney Cox – whose character, Monica, had just found out she was infertile – got pregnant. They covered the slight bump with baggy clothes.
5. Debra Messing in Will & Grace
The crew did their best to hide her belly with tables, towels, and other props, but she still had to be written out of the final few episodes of the season.
4. Alyson Hannigan in How I Met Your Mother
This one was creative – the creators gave Alyson a food baby after Lily entered a hot dog eating contest.
3. Kelly Rutherford in Gossip Girl
Nothing needed except some heavy-duty fashion, here – Rutherford got through season 2 with extra chic coats and accessories.
2. Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman
The special effects team got creative by placing green fabric over her belly so they could CGI it out later.
1. Mindy Kaling in The Mindy Project
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#day11 @mindykaling is amazing, smart, beautiful, and talented! She graduated from Dartmouth and worked on the office and Since then has been creating and working on all kinds of movies and tv shows! She’s also an advocate of people of color! #aapiheritagemonth #asianandpacificislanderheritagemonth #asiansolidarity #imadeachallenge #mindykaling #theoffice #themindyproject #dartmouth
The show’s costume designer and cinematographer worked together during the final season to hide Mindy’s 7-months pregnant belly.
I’m not sure I could have done it any better (which is good, since it’s their job and not mine!).
Did you know all of these actresses were pregnant during their performances? Tell us which ones surprised you in the comments!