While on set, an actor’s responsibility is to embody a character, executing the emotional and physical attributes their respective character should have. Excelling in this responsibility can be made even more arduous when having the added duty of being pregnant. In a recent interview, Gal Gadot revealed she was five months pregnant while filming re-shoots for the upcoming DCEU movie, Wonder Woman, proving that Gal is a superhero in real life too!
With this revelation, Gadot joins a list of many talented actresses that have managed to carry on filming with the help of the writers, cast and crew (especially the costume designers!) while pregnant. Here are just a few examples of actresses who completed leading roles whilst in the process of becoming a mom.
1. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
- Film She Worked On While Pregnant: Wonder Woman (2017)
Gal Gadot’s revelation that she was pregnant with her second child while filming re-shoots for Wonder Woman proves her immense dedication to the role, despite what must have been an exhausting re-shoot. Director Patty Jenkins praised Gadot for powering through the “hilarious gauntlet” that was shooting the highly anticipated addition to the DCEU, and I can’t wait to see how much ass Gadot manages to kick this summer.
2. Halle Berry as Storm
- Film She Worked On While Pregnant: X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014)
Prior to the seventh installment of the X-Men franchise, Halle Berry appeared in the original X-Men trilogy from 2000-2006. Wearing Storm’s skin-tight body suit was no issue for Berry until Days Of Future Past, when she found out she was three months pregnant with her second child.
The X-men actress admitted having trouble putting on Storm’s outfit after about two weeks, when she felt it was “about as much as I could do before I was busting out of the suit.”
Determined to ensure Berry’s Storm made a notable impact throughout the film, producers had a large portion of her scenes fast-tracked in order to get everything shot before she began to show.
3. Reese Witherspoon as Becky Sharp
- Film She Worked On While Pregnant: Vanity Fair (2004)
Throughout Vanity Fair, viewers remain in awe of the clothing that looked both gorgeous and incredibly uncomfortable to wear. To conceal the growing bump of her son Deacon, Reese Witherspoon revealed that wearing voluminous period dresses and standing behind strategically placed furniture were essential to keeping up the illusion.
Witherspoon stated director Mira Nair was shocked when she said she would be ready to film regardless of the pregnancy:
“I called up Mira when I found out I was pregnant… And I said, ‘If you want to go with this movie, I’m ready for it, just give me the word and I’ll show up and we’ll do it.’ And that took her by surprise.”
I have to give all the props to Witherspoon for persevering with the role!
4. Naomi Watts as Anna
- Film She Worked On While Pregnant: Eastern Promises (2007)
David Cronenberg’s wonderfully violent Eastern Promises sees Naomi Watts portray a British midwife. Watts spoke with People in 2007 about the “really interesting timing” of portraying a midwife while unexpectedly pregnant.
“It was really interesting timing actually, I didn’t know I was pregnant until…I had been in London about two weeks when I found out. I was doing all this research of midwifery and turning up at hospitals watching live births, and thinking, ‘Oh my God. This is going to be a hard thing for me if I ever get there.’”
“And there I was, pregnant all that time! It was just funny because I had been reading these books and then suddenly I was hiding them because I didn’t want anyone to know I was pregnant.”
Thanks to her research for the role, Watts was already way ahead of the game by the time she’d discovered she was pregnant!
5. Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow
- Film She Worked On While Pregnant: Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)
When asked about filming while pregnant for the sequel to 2012’s The Avengers, Scarlett Johansson discussed her process during the Marvel production:
“I did as much as I could do and filled in all the blanks later on.”
Although Johansson makes this sound easy, it was actually an incredibly complex process. When she was unable to film a particular scene, one of three stand-ins would wear dotted maps on their faces. These maps guided visual-effects artists who would later graft Johansson’s face onto their bodies in post-production!
Johansson praised her amazing stunt team and singled out her incredible stunt double, Heidi Moneymaker (yes, that’s her real name) for her work:
“[Moneymaker] took a lot of the punches for me, literally… This is like our fourth or fifth movie together, so we kind of have a seamless thing between us.”
6. Kate Winslet as Jeanine Matthews
- Film She Worked On While Pregnant: Divergent (2014)
For the hoards of people who flocked to the theater to check out the film adaptation of Divergent, you may have noticed something peculiar about Kate Winslet‘s character. In every scene, she held something in her hands placed just in front of her stomach. This character trait was included because Winslet was five months pregnant and had to carry an iPad or folder in her arms to conceal the pregnancy!
After the birth of her fantastically-named son, Bear, Winslet was soon back in action for additional photography and would nurse her son between takes. Truly earning her name as one of the more celebrated actresses in Hollywood, Kate even offered to film stunts she couldn’t perform the first time round.
7. Julia Roberts as Tess Ocean
- Film She Worked On While Pregnant: Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
Julia Roberts was pregnant with twins while filming the star-studded sequel to 2001’s Ocean’s Eleven. It is a commonly known fact that her co-stars and friends, particularly George Clooney and Matt Damon, are veteran pranksters. However, in an interview with Allure in 2015, Roberts recalls how polite the famous leading men were during her pregnancy:
“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 OK? You look a little peaked.’ ‘I’m fine.'”
Despite what may be said about the Ocean’s series, the chemistry between the main group cannot be denied, showing a genuine friendship that exudes on screen.
It’s wonderful to hear that George and Matt were such caring friends during their co-stars pregnancy.
8. Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett
- Film She Worked On While Pregnant: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
Helena Bonham Carter has a trick for those interested in seeing the progression of her pregnancy in the Johnny Depp-led musical, Sweeney Todd:
“If you look at the film and see my breast size, it goes up and down like a yo-yo. I have my usual tangerines and I walk around the corner and suddenly they’re melons.”
The film was directed by her partner at the time, Tim Burton, and as certain scenes were shot out of sequence, the costume department was tasked with adjusting her corsets to conceal the bump. The actress admitted that she was often nauseous while on-set, and jokingly claims the singing for Sweeney Todd may have attributed to her becoming pregnant:
“It was all the oxygen. And my pelvic floor has never been so fit. I’ve got great hopes that after this baby it’s going to bounce straight back.”
These actresses receive all the props because being pregnant is exhausting enough without other strenuous activities involved. To think that these actresses managed to pull off memorable performances while in the process of becoming a parent is truly something to applaud.
Which stellar pregnancy concealment surprised you the most? Let me know in the comments below!