Hollywood stops for no one- not even pregnant actresses. It is a land built on keeping up appearances and putting on a show for the billions who consume the various tv shows and movies coming out of their media juggernaut. But what exactly happens when a woman gets pregnant while filming that all-important 4th season cliffhanger? Well, it can be pretty ruthless.
For starters, studio executives and directors will be somewhat annoyed at having to deal with an issue that naturally gets increasingly visible, so they do all the can to conceal this. This ranges from making the actresses wear baggy clothing, to the character putting on 'weight'" and standing behind random props. In some cases, they may only be filmed from the chest up.
After all, not every storyline can be quickly changed to accommodate a bump, so read on as we list 10 famous TV actresses you never knew were pregnant during the filming of their shows.
1. Alyson Hannigan
Alyson Hannigan has been around for a long time, so much so that you probably don't realize she is 44-years-old! Anyway, as well as lead movie roles in the Scary Movie franchise, Hannigan is perhaps most known for her role on the hit tv show How I Met Your Mother, a show she was pregnant on twice.
The first instance it happened, directors had to cover her bump, but the second wouldn't be as stressful as it happened to have coincided with her character Lily's pregnancy. So how did they conceal it the first time round? Well, they actually saw it as a fun challenge. They'd do anything to hide the bump from hiding it behind basketballs and globes to pretending her protruding stomach was the result of a hot dog eating competition.
2. Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker made her name in the much-loved HBO series Sex in the City, and it was her character's stellar brand of lifestyle blogger meets hopeless romantic that captured audience's attention and catapulted her to international superstardom- but the programme wasn't without its difficulties.
In season 5, writers were required to shorten the length of the season by 5 episodes to accommodate Parker's pregnancy, whilst also cladding her in a series of baby dresses that screamed: "Look at me, I'm still pretty and not pregnant."
3. Gillian Anderson
The X-Files was a show built on the supernatural, but there was nothing paranormal about Gillian Anderson's pregnancy. She got pregnant during an alien abduction in season two, but producers came up with a rather novel way of hiding it.
To get around the problem, Anderson was dressed in large coats as specific camera angles made sure viewers were none the wiser.
4. Kristen Bell
The "Veronica Mars" star was pregnant not once but twice during the filming of the acclaimed tv series "House of Lies." However, like Hannigan, she only had to hide it once. This came in season 2 when Bell's character Jeannie was usually seen hiding the bump behind oversized handbags and boxes.
In season four, however, Bell's real-life pregnancy, also like Hanigan's, came at the same time the writers' decided to make Jeannie pregnant. In Bell's very own words, she was simply being "method."
5. January Jones
"Mad Men" was very much a show of its time, and it will remain quintessential good television, but the running of the show wasn't as smooth as it could have been. In fact, one of the show's main stars, January Jones, got knocked up in season 5.
Her character Betty Draper gained a serious amount of weight and towards the latter stages of her pregnancy, prosthetic applications had to be administered. In one episode, she even had to wear a fat suit.
6. Amy Poehler
This much-loved member of the prestigious SNL alum was another actress who found herself having to adapt to the filming process of her show following her pregnancy. The show's third season was unexpectedly renewed so filming commenced straight after season two finished, leaving Poehler with little time to conceal her baby bump.
Because of the intense filming schedule, Poehler had little choice but to work while pregnant, which is why you often see her behind tables and desks in the third season.
7. Courtney Cox & Lisa Kudrow
Friends smartly used the cast's real-life pregnancies and injuries to their advantage by playing them out in the show. However, this proved impossible when Courtney Cox became pregnant at the same period her character was struggling to conceive. This meant the crew had to hide Courtney Cox's pregnancy during the filming of that particular season. When Lisa Kudrow became pregnant, however, writers had enough time to create a story of her being a surrogate for her brother.
Another example of this was a scene where Joey injured his shoulder while jumping on the bed. When he fell he injured his shoulder in real life. Speaking about the ironic moment, he said, "I remember, as Joey jumping on the bed. Yeah, but get this... the audience was full of Diet Coke contest winners flown in from all over the country, and I did two scenes, popped my shoulder, and they had to cancel it. So they all got flown home and then flown back for another week. So it cost Coca-Cola a lot more than they anticipated. What are you going to do?"
8. Zooey Deschanel
Ever wondered why Zooey Deschanel was really replaced in the fifth season of "New Girl" for 6 episodes? Well, it wasn't simply because her replacement Megan Fox is smoking hot. Playing Regan, Fox's character came about after Deschanel's Jess was bedridden following an injury and subsequent jury duty, which was the writers basically giving her ample time off when she got pregnant.
This generous and rare move allowed the 500 Days of Summer star a reasonable amount of maternity leave. Now back in the fold after her absence, Fox's character proved immensely popular, so much so that the producers have kept her on for another season, We wonder why.
9. Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Julia Louis-Dreyfus was pregnant on seasons 3 and 8 of the popular sitcom "Seinfeld" but producers chose to conceal Elaine's bumps behind large coats and everyday objects like laundry baskets, and boxes.
However, Dreyfus took a lot of this to heart. For instance, when Jerry Seinfeld suggested to the writers that Elaine could pull the look off by simply getting fat, she broke down in tears before later saying that it was actually a good idea. Talk about being sensitive!
10. Claire Danes
Acting on a show like "Homeland" is as intense as they come, so when its star was pregnant, the show didn't want to slow down. Instead it used CGI to conceal her pregnancy from viewers. In other scenes, they merely shot the star from the shoulders up.
However, it wasn't as easy as it sounded. Danes actually revealed that filming the majority of season 2 "sucked" because she was tied to a pipe 7.5 months into her pregnancy. Her costar Morena Baccarin was also given the CGI treatment to cover up her baby bump.