Not an easy task. As TV shows resume production after shutting down months prior due to the coronavirus pandemic, actors are faced with the problem of filming love scenes while maintaining cautious health practices.
Soap operas — including The Bold and the Beautiful — were among the first to return to set, with stars using their real-life partners as stand-ins for romantic onscreen moments. “My husband [Aaron Phypers] has stepped in, which has been fun,” Denise Richards explained during her August 2020 appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show. “I’m really grateful that Aaron is able to come, and it’s been fun for all of us to see everyone’s husbands and wives on set.”
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum noted that the switch-up has “been really fun” before revealing how the cast films other scenes. “And then when it’s any other actor and we’re within eight feet of each other, we have to have a mannequin,” she said. “So the mannequins are eye-line and then the other actors are off-camera reading lines for us.”
Richards then added: “It’s been a lot of work, but it’s been so great, and I’m so grateful that we’re even able to be back in production because a lot aren’t.”
Other series chose to embrace the cultural shift. This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman confirmed in August 2020 that season 5 of the hit drama will cover the pandemic.
“Some vague #ThisIsUs answers (sorry),” he tweeted at the time. “Not sure yet on production start. Not sure when new eps will air. Yes on Covid. We’ve decided to attack things head on. Very proud of @ThisIsUsWriters.”
As actress Chrissy Metz detailed on the Q.10 web series in May 2020, the move was somewhat inevitable. “We are a contemporary show so we have to address it,” she said. “Our show is sort of a blueprint on how to go through anxiety and issues and loss and grief.”
NBC later announced that season 5 will premiere earlier than expected in late October.
Scroll down to see photos from the sets of Riverdale, This Is Us and more shows as they shoot sex scenes during the pandemic.
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