35+ Actresses Who Hid Their Pregnancy While Working On Movies And TV Shows

By Precious I

It frequently occurs that after an actress signs a contract to play a role, she unexpectedly becomes pregnant. Writers can either build an actress’ pregnancy into the show or try to cover it with clever camera angles or baggy clothing. Fans might not even notice the camouflage with the correct props.

The studios strive to make it work using everything, from CGI to simple props. In some of our favorite movies and television series, some well-known actresses have kept their pregnancies a secret. But other times, it was brutally evident that they were expecting. Here are some ways they’ve attempted to conceal their mommy bellies, from scurrying behind random objects to dressing creatively. But do these always turn out successful? Let’s find out…

Angela Kinsey Hid Her Pregnancy in Plain Sight on The Office

The Office ran for nine seasons, winning multiple awards and cementing itself as one of this century’s most groundbreaking comedy shows. It has also led to a cult following from lovers of everything “Dunder Mifflin” and spurning several viral internet memes. 

Image Courtesy of The Office / NBC

Angela Kinsey, who also played a character called Angela, was pregnant during the show’s ninth season. However, it was easy to find a workaround for the actress as the series itself is set in an office which meant there were many things to hide the bump – printers, desks, copiers, and folders. 

Amanda Righetti on The Mentalist 

Amanda Righetti became pregnant when filming the fifth season of The Mentalist, which presented the show’s writers with a puzzle as they couldn’t suddenly make her character a mother. They had to get creative to hide the belly from viewers. Here is how they did it.

Image Courtesy of The Mentalist / CBS

For professional reasons, her hand was almost always positioned in front of her midsection, covering her baby bump, especially when the angles were set right. She was also filmed standing behind random obstacles – water coolers, boxes, or desks- and these did the magic. 

Reese Witherspoon Took a Classy Stance During The Shooting of Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair spun heads just about the time of its release. But what fans didn’t know was that Reese Witherspoon was pregnant throughout the entire making of the film. Thankfully, this was a time when sporting maternity wear was a thing, so it all fell into place.

Image Courtesy of Vanity Fair / Focus Features

But that is not to say the crew didn’t do much extra behind-the-scene work to hide her situation. Talk about dark, flowing gowns, fuzzy sets, and a few CGI alterations here and there to reduce her actual size. Indeed it all worked out in the end.

Kate Winslet Killed It on the Set of Divergent

Kate Winslet really stole the show for the sci-fi hit, Divergent. But little did everyone know that there was more to her character than she cared to bring to bear. Kate Winslet was pregnant throughout the filming, a whooping five months to be exact!

Image Courtesy of Divergent / Summit Entertainment

The question now is: how was the English star able to keep this not-so-little detail under wraps? A lot went on behind the scenes to make the magic work. From dark outfits to lots of props used to conceal her bump, Katey was able to pull this one off.

30 Rock Had a Very 30 Rock-Type Fix for Jane Krakowski 

Who can forget Jane Krakowski on 30 Rock? The actress provided many laughs and comedic moments on the award-winning show, and the show would be very different without her. One thing we never saw with the actress was a pregnancy, even though she was pregnant while filming. 

Image Courtesy of 30 Rock / NBC

To make things work and keep up with the story, viewers saw Jane in different costumes during her pregnancy. She wore a lot of baggy clothes, coats, and loose clothes. But, of course, it worked with her very charming character. 

Mad Men‘s Crew Had to Find a Quick Fix for January Jones’ Baby Bump 

With eclectic episodes and spell-bound plot twists, not to mention its incredible star casts, Mad Men has won the hearts of millions of viewers all over. But what happens when one cast tips the scale with an unexpected baby bump? Yup! That was the case with January Jones.

Image Courtesy of Mad Men / AMC

When the actress got pregnant during active filming, the producers were not at all torn about what to do with her character. They instead rewrote the script in her favor! As a result, her Betty Draper character would simply grow overweight for the entire season. Smart move, yea?

Kelly Rutherford Found a Solution in Cozy Coat on Gossip Girl 

On the show Gossip Girl, the character Lily Van der Woodsen was a mom, and she was played by Kelly Rutherford. The real-life Kelly wasn’t a mother at the show’s start (Gossip Girl ran for five seasons), but she would get pregnant during the filming of the fifth season. 

Image Courtesy of Gossip Girl / The CW

Here is how the writers handled this; the storyline wasn’t changed due to the pregnancy. Instead, they ensured that her character was only in outdoor settings where she could wear baggy clothes and trench coats that could hide the baby bump. You have to give it to them; that was a clever workaround. 

Wonder Woman Was Pregnant While Filming 

If you are a fan of late-night shows, you must have heard Gal Gadot mention this story on several late-night talk shows. However, it never gets boring because it is genuinely an amusing story, you know, if you consider secret pregnancy on movie sets an exciting topic. 

Image Courtesy of Wonder Woman / Warner Bros. Entertainment

It made no sense for Wonder Woman to be pregnant. Warner Bros knew this, and they carried on with filming, knowing they had a very expensive tech-savvy crew that could take care of the job. Editing took care of everything, and the rest, they say, is history. 

Amy Poehler Had Her Luck In On the Set of Parks and Recreation

Amy Poehler had once recanted that pregnancy often afforded you the leverage to get away with a lot of stuff. And she couldn’t have been any more authentic, especially when her baby bump grew bigger during filming season.

Image Courtesy of Parks And Recreation / NBC

But instead of them being worried sick about what would become of her character, the Parks and Recreation star was told to wear loose blouses to hide her bump. Then, the director did her one even better, shooting two back-to-back seasons to give her room to be with her newborn.

Alanna Masterson on The Walking Dead 

Walking Dead had a lot of characters and dead man-walking flesh-eating zombies. But, actress Alanna Masterson, one of the principal actors on the show, found out she was pregnant in 2015, which we presume was a source of joy for her and her family, but not quite for the writers and producers of the show.

Image Courtesy of The Walking Dead / AMC

It made no sense for her character Tara Chambler to get pregnant, so the writers went super creative with heavy use of props. They used a lot of things, mostly simple things that would pass off as regular day-to-day props like standing behind a dish rack, sitting on a chair backward, and more.

Isla Fisher Was Pregnant During the Filming of Burke and Hare 

Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen are happily married and have three little ones in their family. As you can imagine, some of these pregnancies would have been during the filming of one of their movies. That was the case with Burke and Hare

Image Courtesy of Burk And Hare / Laurie Sparham / IFC Films

Thankfully, she played a role in a movie set in the Regency Era, where women were adorned (or burdened) with layers and layers of clothes. The costume department took advantage of this and gave Fisher’s character gowns, capes, and strategically positioned hand warmers. 

Leah Remini’s Character on Kings of Queens Fit Perfectly with Her Pregnancy 

  Actress Leah Remini was very much pregnant on the set of the sixth season of Kings of Queens. Fortunately, her character and the plot of the show made it convenient to hide this detail. Her character was employed and spent a lot of time in sweatpants and bathrobes. 

Image Courtesy of Kings of Queens / CBS

She got a lot of bathrobes as the true unemployed character she was. She wore bathrobes of several colors, whether it was pink, blue, white, or yellow. The costume department got creative whenever she needed an actual outfit. In the end, the actress was able to hide the bump successfully. 

Kristen Bell Used CGI while on House of Lies to Hide Her Bump 

Bell is a very passionate parent; she is known to regularly show off her kids with her husband, Dax Shepard. As you can guess, being a parent and an actress can sometimes be conflicting, especially with pregnancies while on set. So how did she navigate this while filming House of Lies? 

Image Courtesy of House of Lies / Showtime

The costume and props took care of the early part of filming. Millions of viewers didn’t notice a thing on the show. Then, however, the bump got more significant, and Kristen had to continue filming. So the big shots of the studio got some of that CGI magic to remove the pregnancy digitally.

Courtney Cox Had Us Fooled During Her Time as Monica on Friends 

While playing one of the most popular and beloved characters on TV, Courtney Cox had tried to get pregnant with her husband at the time, David Arquette, for a long time. Like her Friends character, Monica, she struggled with fertility for years.   

Image Courtesy of Friends / Warner Bros. Studios

Her life on TV mirrored her private life. Fortunately, she found success with IVF, and her belly started growing – something that didn’t fit the Monica storyline. So, to make things work and keep up with the story, viewers saw Monica in many baggy clothes, coats, and headshots. 

 Jane Leeves Got Chunky, and They Had it to Fit in With Fraser. 

Janes Leeves got pregnant on Fraser in an era where things are done quite differently from what we have today in Hollywood. The show’s writers decided on how to deal with the actress’ pregnancy: to give her a compulsive eating disorder that would make her fat. 

Image Courtesy of Fraser / NBC

As part of the show’s plot, she was sent to a fat camp to deal with the obsession. She was dealing with a real-life pregnancy off camera, but her character went away for a while and missed a few episodes. 

Claire Danes Got Sneaky Like Her Character on the CIA-based show, Homeland

Homeland ran on FX for up to eight seasons, and on the show, Claire Danes played a CIA agent responsible for tracking and apprehending terrorists. As you can imagine, this sounds like a pretty intense line of work – and one that might be quite difficult for a mum to play, at least on the show.

Image Courtesy of Homeland / Ronen Akerman / Showtime

She was eight months pregnant with her son Cyrus when they started filming; for her other son Rowan, she was in her first and second trimesters when they began filming. One can only imagine how stressful it must have been shooting some high-octane and emotionally stressful scenes while carrying a child.

Julia Roberts Conned the Audience More Than Once on Ocean’s Twelve 

When you have a big hit like Ocean’s Eleven and you are a box-office draw like Julia Roberts, the studio would be willing to do everything to make the movie work. That was the case during the filming of Ocean’s Twelve when studio executives were informed that Julia Roberts was pregnant at the time. 

Image Courtesy of Ocean’s Twelve / Warner Bros. Studios

In the scene when the character of Tess stood up from sitting behind a table, the audience saw a giant belly. The audience also saw another scene where she put on a fake belly as part of her con. But in truth, that was Julia’s real-life baby bump. Con in a con in a con. 

Naomi Watts Was Already a Few Weeks In Before Shooting Eastern Promises

What happens when you learn about your pregnancy on the set of a big movie shoot? Such was the case of Naomi watts during the shooting of Eastern Promises. Two weeks after the preliminary shooting, the star actress discovered she was pregnant. 

Image Courtesy of Eastern Promises / Focus Features

Thankfully, she was just a few weeks in and very much unnoticeable. Naomi went to put up an iconic performance for her character as—you guessed it—a midwife! Maybe that was fate’s way of putting things into perspective. Oh well.

Rosamund Pike Got All the Support She Could Get For Jack Reacher

Action thriller Jack Reacher was an instant hit upon its release. But many things went on behind the big screen than are spoken about in the pop scene. Actress Rosamund Pike was pregnant during filming, and this inconspicuous detail threatened her stay on the set.

Image Courtesy of Jack Reacher / Paramount Pictures

Thankfully, co-star Tom Cruise, who also doubled as the film’s producer, was on her side. Being his usual fantastic self, the Top Gun crooner was very understanding and made the whole process easy on Rosamund. Jack Reacher racked up numbers at the box office.

Emily Deschanel’s Pregnancy Became a Highlight of the Bones series

Not everything you see on TV shows happens by a grand design. Often, scripts have to be rewritten to accommodate new developments. Such was the story with Emily Deschanel in the filming of Bones. Unknown to many, the actress was expecting a child while on set.

Image Courtesy of Bones / Fox

To keep the wheels spinning, the writers had to add a new twist to the plot. Her character was suddenly rewritten, and she was equally expecting for that season. Fans didn’t receive this well. Nonetheless, her baby bump became an integral part of the season even after giving birth.

Jill Scott Had a Swell Time on Set for No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency in Africa

Jill Scott has often talked about totally loving the experience that came with pregnancy. She’d go on and on about the feelings and constant changes that occurred during this time. But, alas! One such season came when she was cast for No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency in Africa.

Image Courtesy of No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency in Africa / BBC

The big and beautiful singer/actress was all glitz and glamour during the entire filming of the movie. The set was hell, with crew members battling the sweltering heat and harsh working conditions. Nonetheless, Jill gallantly weathered it all, mainly spotting loosely patterned gowns.

Cobie Smulders Hid It for Her Role in How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother star Cobie Smulders once talked about how the show transformed her life. For her, it was a ticket to leading a lavish LA lifestyle and having time for other things that matter to her. And truthfully so, the show has always had her back.

Image Courtesy of How I Met Your Mother / CBS

During the filming of one of the show’s seasons, Cobie had to deal with a baby bump that the crew was also more than happy to conceal. However, nothing changed about her character, and everything went on like before. It just took a little strategic prop placement to make it work.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Character on the Hit Comedy Show, Seinfeld, Had to Gain Weight 

As you can remember, Julia Louis-Dreyfus played a pivotal role in making Seinfeld the hit show it became. Can you imagine the show without some of her sassy quips and crazy dance moves? Unfortunately, that was what Jerry Seinfeld, the show’s creator, had to deal with when Julia got pregnant after the first season. 

Image Courtesy of Seinfeld / NBC

According to Julia, he told her that her character might have to get fat in the show. He wanted to change the script so that Elaine would put on some extra pounds. It didn’t go well with Julia; she felt humiliated and bawled uncontrollably. 

Sarah Jessica Parker Was the Opposite of Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City 

The thought of motherhood wasn’t significant on the cards of the character played by Sarah Jessica Parker in the series, Sex and the City, but the actress herself was pregnant while filming some of the show’s seasons. So imagine the queen of the dating columns having to walk around NYC with a big bump. 

Image Courtesy of Sex And The City / HBO

This was the challenge presented to the costume and props department of one of the most era-defining shows of the 21st century. They did a great job hiding her bump at first, but it came to a point when they just couldn’t; instead, that season of the show simply ended early. 

Betsy Brandt and Her Breaking Bad Character Were in Sync 

AMC’s Breaking Bad is considered one of the most outstanding drama series of all time. The show, which ran for five glorious seasons, received several accolades and awards and got a dedicated and loyal cult following that has led to the creation of multiple spin-offs. 

Image Courtesy of Breaking Bad / AMC

But one thing a lot of the show’s viewers didn’t know was that the actress playing the character Skylar was pregnant. So that baby bump you saw in the series was the real-life Betsy Brandt not having to hide her true pregnancy. 

Anna Paquin and her Pillow on the set of True Blood 

Anna Paquin wowed millions of viewers and fans of the hit HBO show, True Blood for many seasons with vampire fangs. However, during the filming for the show’s sixth season, she had something heartwarming going on in her life – she was expecting a child. 

Image Courtesy of True Blood / HBO

Her co-star Todd Lowe revealed how they solved this issue at the time; he talked about her having to hold a pillow to hide the bump; when you think about it now, it doesn’t look very creative but seeing as it worked out fine for them, maybe Lowe is right. 

Parminder Nagra Squeezed Her Way Through in the Making of ER 

Parminder Nagra has always held fans spellbound with her stunning performance in the TV series ER. But, along the way, the star actress took in during the filming of one of the show’s seasons. So how does the film crew manage it?

Image Courtesy of ER / NBC

There was not much to do here since medics often strut around in loose apparel. So that pretty much sorted itself out. Besides some of the high-duty props that came with a typical hospice environment, Nagra could pull out the master camouflage.

Mandy Moore Made It Through This Is Us

Mandy Moore found it a monumental task taking in well after tying the knots with her lovebird. But after seeking help for a diagnosed condition, she was able to get pregnant. Interestingly, she was already on set for filming This Is Us.

Image Courtesy of This Is Us / NBC Universal Media, LLC

The significant challenges came, however, in her later maternity months as the writers had to find ways to incorporate her situation into the script. Her character would also be pregnant as a genius move, so she only naturally had to take two for one! No one even noticed.

Emily Blunt Was Expecting On Girl on the Train

Brit star actress Emily Blunt was fully preggo while filming the movie, The Girl on the Train. This was her first pregnancy, and she didn’t even have the time to bask in all the euphoria that came with it. Instead, blunt was all face deep in her script, working the scenes.

Image Courtesy of The Girl On The Train / Universal Pictures

Although very early in her term, she could get into a form quickly without any hurdles. Even the usual fatigue and hormonal changes that followed helped shape her character. You would notice how drained she looked in many of the movie’s scenes.

Debra Messing Was Heavy While Shooting Will & Grace 

Many of us would remember the sitcom Will & Grace for the smiles and crackles it brought to our faces. So it was a blow when it was that the show finally came to an end. But away from the series’s charm was Debra Messing’s bulge in the filming of season six.

Image Courtesy of Will And Grace / NBC

 Debra was heavy while on set and had her son amidst shooting. The props crew was more creative during the period and prepped her with lots of flowing gowns. Unfortunately, some of the costumes didn’t work with fans, and Debra’s character had to be written off the last few episodes of that season.

Blake Lively Hide Her Baby Bump During the Filming of The Shallows

If you remember the movie correctly, Blake Lively was surrounded by many sharks in The Shallows. This means, in typical Hollywood fashion, she was surrounded by many CGI and green rooms. Many don’t know that she was also heavily pregnant during filming. 

Image Courtesy of The Shallows / Columbia Pictures

No one noticed her baby bump. Also, she had to lose a lot of baby fat after delivery to be beach ready. To achieve that, she hired two personal trainers and a nutritionist to guide her – in what she described as a challenging ordeal.

How I Met Your Mother Crew Had to Repackage Alyson Hannigan’s Baby Situation

How I Met Your Mother series has always left audiences with a crackle. I mean, that has been their thing. And even when Alyson Hannigan got pregnant during one of the season’s filming, it didn’t stop the show from going on.

Image Courtesy of How I Met Your Mother / CBS

To keep the fun alive, the writers found a way to incorporate her bulging belly in one scene. In this scene, she bared her protruding tummy to the full glare of viewers, with the claim that she had just come from a hotdog eating contest—ingenuity at its peak.

Zooey Deschanel Rode It Out For Her Time on New Girl

​Many fans admit that Zooey Deschanel was one of the highlights of the TV drama, New Girl, bringing the show alive with her weirdo persona. But little did fans know that beneath all her goofing around was a growing pregnancy in one of its seasons.

Image Courtesy of New Girl / Fox

How was she able to manage herself, you ask? The good thing was that Zooey had a great behind-the-scenes team to help her through filming. She was always kitted up in relaxing cover-up costumes made especially for her. They played the costume thing off as just classic Zooey being herself. No one could tell.

Phylicia Rashad Played Around Her Pregnancy on The Cosby Show

The Cosby Show stole the spotlight for much of the 80s. The fiction family matriarch, Clair Huxtable, played by the alluring Phylicia Rashad, always brought some charm to our TV screens. Even getting pregnant at one point during the show didn’t stop her glam for a minute.

Image Courtesy of The Cosby Show / NBC

So how did the show handle the whole affair? As the show continued, there was nothing to see as nothing had changed. However, with the help of a few wardrobe changes and huge cushion props, Phylicia was able to scale through without being noticed.

​Rachel Griffiths Brought in a Brood of Three Throughout Six Feet Under

The show Six Feet Under was an instant hit as soon as it came on TV. However, star actress Rachel Griffiths rode a different wagon for the entire filming of the show seasons. She was pregnant not just once but a total of three times!

Image Courtesy of Six Feet Under / HBO

Her character had to be written off for a few episodes, especially when her tummy got too big to manage. This happened a couple of times throughout the show’s airing. But where they could, the producers managed her so well that it was difficult to know her actual status.

Angelina Jolie Didn’t Skip a Beat for Her Performance in The Changeling

Angelina is famous for her love for kids. Over the years, the star actress has adopted kids from various nationalities in addition to birthing her biological children. Interestingly, one of such baby bump seasons came during the shooting of the psychological thriller, The Changeling.

Image Courtesy of The Changeling / Universal Pictures

Before filming, Jolie had full knowledge of her pregnancy for twins Knox and Vivienne. But since it was still very early, she hid it from producers and crew members throughout the entire making of the film. The film, by the way, was a success.

Helena Bonham Carter and Her Ex Made Sweeney Todd Together While She Was Pregnant 

Helena Bonham Carter and her ex, Director Tim Burton, were quite a pair when they were together. Burton is the father of her children and, most times, doubled as her director; one of those occasions is Sweeney Todd. She was pregnant while they were making the movie.

Image Courtesy of Dreamworks / Warner Bros. Pictures

Being married to the director comes with its perks; Burton was able to fast-track the filming of her scenes in the movie. They shot the remaining scenes (the ones with her close-ups) later during her pregnancy. Additionally, they used lighting, oversized dresses, and kitchen counters to cover the baby bump.

Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds 

There’s no need for us to tell you that Michelle Pfeifer was incredible in Dangerous Minds. She played the original teacher in the inner-city drama, and it was a hit among audiences in the 90s. However, many didn’t know that she was pregnant the whole time. 

Image Courtesy of Dangerous Minds / Hollywood Pictures

She wore many baggy clothes in the series but couldn’t do much because she was heavily and visibly pregnant, so they decided to get even more creative with the angles. You won’t find any side shots of Pfeiffer from the movie. 

Nana Visitor Was Managed on CGI 

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine graced our television sets for an extended period, filling us with thrills and chills that only a true Sci-Fi series can give. But when Nana Visitor, one of the show’s leading ladies, got pregnant, the writers had to rewrite the script to fit her into the picture.

Image Courtesy of Star Trek: DS9 / Paramount Domestic Television

In what could be termed a genius move, the writers included her pregnancy in the plot as a surrogate pregnancy. There wasn’t any reason to hide it. It became a massive part of the TV show as the script followed a path that revolved solely around it.

Rachel Bilson Was Mid-term in the Making of Hart of Dixie

Rachel Bilson is no stranger to the big screen. And when her character came alive for Hart of Dixie, her fanbase increased a notch. Even when she got pregnant while shooting the short-lived TV series, many fans thought her pregnancy was the cause.

Image Courtesy of Hart of Dixie / The CW

Far from that, the show was canceled for some other reason. But while it lasted, the pregnancy wasn’t a hindrance for the show’s writers, who managed the situation quite nicely. The crew could pull it off from loosely-fit clothes and lots of props for the show’s entire duration.