‘The Bold and the Beautiful’: Blow-Up Dolls and Real-Life Partners in Love Scenes Is the New, Temporary Normal

The Bold and the Beautiful, which is presumably the first show in the United States to head back into production during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, is already on pause for a bit. The show’s head, Bradley Bell, has also spoken to several outlets about how romantic scenes on the soap opera will look.

Adain Bradley and Kiara Barnes on 'The Bold and the Beautiful' in 2018
Adain Bradley and Kiara Barnes on ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ in 2018 | Johnny Vy/CBS

The series started production again but is already paused

Just as the show headed back into production on Wednesday, by the day’s end, Variety broke the news that production would be paused in order to expand coronavirus testing. A spokesperson for Bell-Phillip Television told the publication that this was done to “better accommodate the large volume of testing needed.”

“We have paused very briefly to modify our testing protocol to better accommodate the large volume of testing needed,” the statement continued. Safety remains our top priority as we continue to move forward with the production of the Bold and the Beautiful. B&B filmed with cast and crew today and it was a successful first day back at work.”

According to the report, filming on the show is set to resume on June 23. However, this is likely tentative, in the case that testing is not completed by that time.

Here’s how scenes will be impacted

The Bold and the Beautiful show head Bradley Bell has been giving several interviews, detailing how production will look like when the shoe resumes. Some of the concepts he’s brought up definitely have people talking. Bell went into detail on how the show will work around romantic scenes, which are a staple in the daytime soap opera genre.

The show first started to limit the number of things like kissing, but it wasn’t working. “We were cutting all of the kisses, and the shows weren’t the same,” he told Forbes. Thanks to the handiwork of their camera work and editing actors will do their parts separately and then they will be edited together. “They’ll look like they’re nose to nose, in the throes of passion. But they’ll be shooting scenes all by themselves,” said Bell.

As for the sex scenes. Those will take a bit more work. The show will use both stand-ins (real-life partners of the actors) and blow-up dolls.

“We have some life-like blow up dolls that have been sitting around here for the past 15 years, that we’ve used for various other stories — (like) when people were presumed dead,” Bell explained. “We’re dusting off the dolls and putting new wigs and make-up on them and they’ll be featured in love scenes.”

Partners in life and on stage

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he also spoke about the love scenes, including how folks’ real-life partners will be included when applicable. “We’re also bringing in, in some cases, the husbands and wives of the actors as stand-ins for their [characters’] significant others. So if you see hands touching faces in close proximity from a wide shot, instead of a stunt double we’ll have a love-scene double, where it will be the husband or the wife doing the actual touching. Then when we edit it together, it will look like our couple on screen,” he said.


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Bell continued. ‘And we’ll probably also be using some of the classic, old-fashioned tricks of soap opera, where when things heat up, we pan to the fireplace or pan to a candle to indicate things are getting hot [laughs]. All in all, I think a lot of it will be done with the eyes and the voice, and there can still be love in the air and romance on the screen from a safe distance.”

The Bold and the Beautiful airs weekdays on CBS.