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The HBO series The Gilded Age premiered in January 2022. From the creator of Downton Abbey, the period drama filled a spot left open by the Emmy-winning show. As it began, fans were shocked to learn The Gilded Age star, Carrie Coon, successfully concealed her pregnancy during filming. It worked so well that most viewers had no clue she gave birth in the summer of 2021. And Coon isn’t the first actor to use a costume like her character’s to hide a baby bump. 

Carrie Coon’s pregnancy was hidden in ‘The Gilded Age’

Carrie Coon pregnancy Gilded Age
(L-R) Carrie Coon and Nathan Lane in ‘The Gilded Age’ | Alison Cohen Rosa/HBO

If Coon hadn’t officially let the cat out of the bag, not many The Gilded Age viewers would have a clue she was expecting a baby while shooting. But one Twitter user commented on the costumes, asking whether they were “ugly” or “camp”? Coon’s reply? “Eight months pregnant.”

Coon, playing the showy Bertha Russell, relied on intricately corseted costumes to hide the pregnancy. “There were a few months where I got to wear the costumes as they existed,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “But when we came back [to filming], I had to put strings on the back of all of them.” 

The Leftovers actor fooled more than just the audience. She told the publication, “a lot of people working in post-production didn’t know I was pregnant” due to the “amazing job” done by the costume department. “The wardrobe is gorgeous,” Coon added.

Other notable pregnancies hidden by costumes

But it appears Carrie Coon isn’t the only actor ever successfully to conceal a growing baby bump during filming. Emily Blunt in Into the Woods kept her growing pregnancy out of view by standing strategically behind trees or donning a raised apron on her dress. Sometimes, she would need another human (like co-star James Corden) to conceal the baby bump.

As reported by BuzzFeed, Blunt hid a second pregnancy during the filming of The Girl on the Train. The pregnancy made her tired, but this helped her play the character well.

The case of Alyson Hannigan in How I Met Your Mother was a little different. Instead of hiding the pregnancy, the show’s creators disguised it by turning it into a protruding belly, a natural result of having Alyson enter a hot dog-eating contest.

Gal Gadot’s case in Wonder Woman proved trickier. The 5-month pregnant “wonder woman” needed a form-fitting costume, and hiding behind objects wouldn’t have worked well. The special effects team had a little trick up their sleeve: they placed a green fabric over the star’s belly to fix it in post-production.

What else do we know about ‘The Gilded Age’?

The Gilded Age recreates the 1880s period in New York, a period in American history rife with rapid economic growth and conflicts between the old and new money ways. It brings to light the social war that emerged during this period, allowing viewers to connect the past and the present.