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The Unique Way Felicity Jones Thinks She Made History On The Midnight Sky

Whenever an actress becomes pregnant while filming, it causes some level of shuffling and rethinking to account for the baby bump. Some directors hide it behind props, others edit it out with CGI, but sometimes they simply make the character pregnant, as well. Of course, that last option impacts the story immensely, whether it's a TV series or a movie. Just take the crime procedural Bones, whose lead actress's pregnancy became series canon and split fans in the process.

So, when faced with those decisions on George Clooney's new film, The Midnight Sky, it resulted in a change to Felicity Jones' character that just might be telling a previously untold tale: that of a pregnant astronaut.

While George Clooney hasn't been in a movie for years, he's coming back this month to star in the upcoming The Midnight Sky as an Arctic scientist trying to warn a spaceship full of astronauts, including Rogue One's Felicity Jones, against coming back to the ruined Earth, all the while taking care of a strange little girl (Caoilinn Springall). The film takes place both in the frozen, treacherous landscape of Iceland, and in the claustrophobic, yet equally isolated, spaceship Aether. But while Clooney — who's directing as well as starring — was shooting with a small crew in Iceland, Jones told him she was pregnant. Suddenly, they decided to change up the narrative.

Is this the first on-screen depiction of a pregnant astronaut?

Originally, Jones' baby bump was simply going to be removed with CGI. But a couple days into filming, Clooney had a change of heart. He told Deadline, "I woke up in the middle of the night and just said, you know what? They've been on a two-year trip in space. People have sex. And get pregnant. That might happen." It added a new dimension to the story and made "the ending of the film more important."

Jones was happy to include her pregnancy in the film. "In many ways, my being pregnant intensified my connection to [my character] Sully and made it feel even more pressing to make a film about dealing with the end of the world," she told The Hollywood Reporter. She commented on how few dramas featured pregnant women. "I think it might be the first depiction of a pregnant astronaut," she told CinemaBlend. "Yeah, it was pretty revolutionary. It was a very organic, instinctive process."

Jones has at least one other rival to the title of "First Fictional Pregnant Astronaut" and that's Halle Berry, who played a pregnant astronaut on the CBS series Extant. However, there's a big difference: Berry's character's pregnancy was a sci-fi mystery, as she'd been alone in space for 13 months before returning to Earth suddenly pregnant. In The Midnight Sky, Sully's pregnancy isn't quite so strange and alien, but distinctly human.

Now, in reality, space can do weird things to your body, which might make it a really bad place to have a baby, according to Vice. As such, NASA has a no-sex policy on their missions. A pregnancy might get an actress kicked off a film or it could happily alter a storyline, but it will certainly get her kicked off a space mission.

The Midnight Sky comes to Netflix on December 23.