Is EastEnders taking a cue from The Bold and the Beautiful? The UK soap is planning on using its actors' significant others as stand-ins during intimate scenes, reports BBC News. This is a technique B&B head honcho Brad Bell has been using on his set to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
EastEnders resumed filming at the end of June, and the BBC will be using real-life love interests to allow "moments of intimacy to be cheated" while still getting the scenes they need. These stand-ins, specifically, will be used when "crucial moments where two characters are kissing."
According to executive producer Jon Sen:
We hit on the idea of [using] supporting artists from the same household to reflect the world outside.... or a husband and wife who would be walking down Bridge Street and of course they can get closer together than the two metres;
To maintain social distancing guidelines on set while giving the illusion of intimacy, EastEnders is using "clear Perspex screens," which are invisible to the camera, between actors. And "computer-generated composite shots are also being used." Sen explained:
So, when you are filming, the actor will be talking to space, essentially, and that will happen with the other actor, and then you'll put them together and it will look like they are at the same table, so we're doing that a lot.
Actors' temperatures are regularly being taken, while everyone seated in the iconic Queen Vic pub is separated by at least two meters (about six feet). Kate Oates, BBC Studios head of continuing drama (and an iconic former soap producer in her own right), stated:
We wanted the ambition of the storytelling and the quality of the storytelling to be as high as possible, so to achieve that and to achieve everything Jon has talked about and to make it look brilliant it takes longer so we really did have a judgment call to make.
New EE episodes will begin airing on Monday, September 7. However, they will be 20 minutes, rather than 30, and will air four nights a week rather than the regular five.