We already know This Is Us will look different when it returns for Season 5 in November — they’ve confirmed that the coronavirus pandemic will play into the storylines. But how does a show filled with couples (not to mention love scenes) carry on during the time of COVID-19? Star Chrissy Metz is offering a little insight on their new approach to intimacy, and it sounds like they could borrow the clever trick soap operas have used since resuming production.
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Metz revealed that the show has been taking every precaution to ensure the wellbeing of its cast and crew. “Everybody’s just making sure [it’s] safe and regulated, and everyone is going to be as safe as possible,” she told ET, adding that she’d been personally tested for COVID-19 four times already. Of course, social distancing might make some scenes rather challenging. “I don’t think we’re going to be kissing,” she said. “I think we might [do] like the side church hug or something, but I don’t know if we’re going to be kissing, y’all. I doubt it.”
One way they could make it work? Taking a page from The Bold and the Beautiful’s book. “We put our heads together trying to figure out a way to make these scenes work without breaking the eight-foot [social distancing] rule,” the show’s executive producer, Bradley Bell, told The New York Post in June, “and we brought out a doll we used years ago as a corpse. We posed it and it was very convincing.”
— GREAT 38 WTTA (@Great38tv) September 11, 2020
That’s right; when you’re watching intimate scenes that were filmed since shows picked back up, you might be witnessing a makeout sesh with a mannequin or blow-up doll.
Another hack that The Bold and the Beautiful — and other soap operas like it — have employed is to bring in the spouses of the show’s stars.
“We had the idea that [if actors] can’t touch one another and you can’t see them in a tight embrace, then that’s a real problem,” Bell said. “So we thought to reach out to some of the husbands and wives of the actors and ask them if they would be body doubles in the kissing scenes. Some of them were interested. We’ve had stunt doubles before but this is the first time we’ve had kissing doubles.”
Regardless of how This Is Us rolls with their romantic moments in Season 5 (and you know there will be romantic moments), Metz says one thing is certain: The new season will feel authentic to the show’s lovably flawed family.
Shared Metz, “We know how it’s going to look and I have to say, I’m excited about it because I think people will look to the Pearsons for how we navigate life because they do it imperfectly and people can relate to that.”
Before you go, click here to revisit some of the best (pre-coronavirus) TV sex scenes.