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Revealed: How Kate Winslet Concealed Her Pregnancy While Filming 'Divergent'

Meriah Doty
July 18, 2014

Audiences who watched last spring’s sci-fi/action movie Divergent  might be surprised to learn that costar Kate Winslet was five months pregnant when she shot her scenes. Now, thanks to the audio commentary on the upcoming Blu-ray/DVD release of the movie — provided exclusively to Yahoo Movies — we know of at least three ways the filmmakers cleverly concealed the expanded belly of the 38-year-old actress.

1. She Covered Up.
Winslet — who plays duplicitous community leader Jeanine Matthews — had her costumes refitted after she shared the news of her pregnancy, says director Neil Burger. “We had to be very strategic in the way that we shot her. She always had some sort of file or case in her hand that was sort of protecting, you know, her bump,” he notes in his commentary. Winslet laughed as she explained this low-tech movie magic on the Ellen show last March: “The number of takes where I’m, like, ‘Guys, if I’m in profile, you gotta give me an iPad or something to hold. I mean, seriously.’” 

2. She Sometimes Stood on the Sidelines.
"There was a point at which we were thinking about whether Shai [Shailene Woodley] should head-butt Kate or punch her in the face," recalls producer Lucy Fisher. "So we went to Kate and said, ‘What do you think she should do?’…Kate said, ‘I think she should do both.’" While Kate was a good sport, insisting on doing her own stunt work, filmmakers kept her on the sidelines during one climactic scene in which Woodley’s Tris throws an elbow to her face. "Kate was pregnant when we were doing this and she wanted to take the fall but we wouldn’t let her," says Burger, with a laugh. "It was a hard fall. That was not Kate." 

3. She Ducked Out… and Returned.
When Winslet came back for additional photography a few months later, she arrived with her infant son (who she named Bear Blaze). “She set a new standard for professionalism,” producer Douglas Wick recalls. “We were doing a scene at the end and she’d shoot a bunch of stuff and she’d have to run out and nurse the baby and come back and finish the scene. And she apologized because she said when she was pregnant she didn’t think she did her stunts fully enough and now wanted to do them. Pretty formidable.”

The Divergent can be seen on digital HD July 22, the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack goes on sale Aug. 5.

Photo credits: Summit Entertainment