Take comfort in knowing that you're certainly not alone, and even your favorite actors are adapting to a COVID world. So, how does one film a kissing scene or television show during a pandemic? Read on for how these shows are keeping everyone safe on set.
Though season five of The CW show had to halt production multiple times, producers are taking extra safety measures. How does a show filled with kissing scenes get by during COVID? As KJ Apa revealed on his Instagram, the stars are using mouthwash — we also can't believe they weren't doing this sooner.
"Our new normal is washing our mouths before every take of a make-out scene," KJ captioned on Instagram along with a video of him and co-star Camila Mendes taking a swig of mouthwash. Based off the video, each of the actors have to keep the mouthwash in for about a minute before spitting it back out into a plastic bag
The Bold and the Beautiful, Part I
The soap opera had another idea for kissing scenes and while the execution was a bit off, we'd certainly give them an A for effort. The show went ahead and got mannequins for actors to lock lips with. Again, we applaud the concept but viewers quickly noticed the obvious swap. Naturally, memes ensued.
The Bold and the Beautiful, Part II
After quickly realizing mannequins were not the best idea, producer Bradley Bell told The Hollywood Reporter they would begin to use some of the actors' real-life partners as stand-ins. "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," he said.
Iain Armitage, the star of the Big Bang Theory prequel series, revealed on Instagram the show "now [requires] all crew to wear [a] dinosaur costume in order to maintain a safe 6 feet." Hilarious and genius.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
The long-running crime show isn't taking COVID-19 lightly. Star Mariska Hargitay shared several behind-the-scenes photos that demonstrate the cast and crew are taking safety precautions.
The Netflix show had just started filming season four before having to shut down production for COVID-19 in March. However, not being able to film meant the writers had plenty of time to completely finish the scripts for all of the episodes.
Typically, not all the episodes are written before a show starts filming, so allowing the writers more time to develop storylines and dialogue is only going to make this the best season yet.
Co-creator Matt Duffer told The Hollywood Reporter, "We've had a lot more time to work on the scripts. For the first time, we have all the scripts written and we're able to look at it as a whole piece and make adjustments." Co-creator Ross Duffer also told THR, "[The pandemic] has given us time to look ahead, figure out what is best for the show."
The show, which finished filming its final episodes during COVID, relied on testing and additional safety guidelines to wrap up. As Variety reported, "Everyone involved in the production — around 360 people, according to Warner Bros. — was tested three times a week." Additionally, the production was divided into seven pods to enforce social distancing.
Stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki told Variety they felt the responsibility was on them and didn't want to do anything reckless. Jared said being careless "would have been shutting down production and putting people out of work again." He noted how they weren't going out on weekends.
The Ellen Show
Instead of having a live studio audience for the new season, the long-running talk show is using a virtual audience instead. It looks kind of creepy, TBH, but at least it's safe!
The Kelly Clarkson Show
The American Idol alum is fully embracing the Black Mirror-esque video audience to help stop the spread of COVID, while still providing us entertainment. And yes, at times, it looks a little funny. As Twitter user @JoshKurp called out, "The virtual Kelly Clarkson Show audience members awkwardly dancing to Vin Diesel's new song is the funniest thing I've seen in weeks."
Saturday Night Live
Unlike other shows, SNL brought back its live studio audience in October. Ticketing website 1iota listed many rules, including: guests taking a mandatory COVID-19 test upon arrival, getting temperature checked, and wearing a face covering/mask at all times.
During an October 3rd show, audience members found out they were paid $100 to be there. Twitter user @seanludwig thought the money was "likely to meet New York State’s requirements for only paid staff to be in the audience."
Dancing With the Stars
While the competition series nixed its studio audience altogether, it also extended the judges' desks to have eight feet separation, Deadline reported. As for the actual judging process, dancers — who are being tested five times per-week — remain socially distant after their performance. And instead of in-person camera crews, the rehearsal studio has been set up with remote cameras to capture footage.
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