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EastEnders star James Farrar has shared the weird and wonderful filming techniques the soap has used to make it look like cast members are interacting with babies in scenes – when they’re actually not on set at all.
Due to current filming restrictions and strict social distancing rules, many scenes have had to be adapted to make it look as though the youngsters are still part of the action.
And James, who plays Albert Square’s Zack, has exclusively revealed to OK! that he and the little boy who plays Sharon’s son Albie haven’t been on set together for months.
Instead, the duo have been filming their segments separately and then using clever camera cuts to make it appear as though they’re next to each other.
The actor told us: “A lot of the time, viewers would think that we’re holding babies. For instance with Albie, Sharon’s little one, it always looks like he’s in the shot with us.”
James continued: “But, in fact, there was a stage where we didn’t see Albie for four months, but we filmed about ten scenes with him.”
Explaining how they achieve the look that Albie is in the scene, James continued to say that the crew have come up with some genius editing techniques.
He said: “Albie will be filmed on his own – because we’re not allowed to come within two meters of him – and then they will cut that in later on.”
“So I’m actually pretending when viewers will have seen scenes where I’m there with Albie.”
James, who is expecting his first child with wife Ali Roff, continued to say that although it’s been challenging at times, he’s taken inspiration from having youngsters in his own life.
He said: “I’ve got a niece who I adore, and I also really love Albie like he’s my own, so in those scenes, I’ve got to just pretend that I’m talking to my own little niece and then you get the whole child talk that we all do.”
However, the excited dad-to-be went on to joke that it meant that he’s not getting any practice in before he and Ali welcome their own baby.
James continued: “I’ve thought about it quite regularly and I’m really looking forward to the day that we can actually act with children again.”
But James’ co-stars are still on hand to help him get ready for fatherhood and have been busy giving him lots of tips for the future.
He told us: “I'm going through a big stage in my life when it comes to fatherhood and Letitia [Dean, who plays Sharon] is coaching me through that.”
“Equally, James [Bye, who plays Martin] is a father so he’s doing the same and James’ wife is very close with my wife.”
“James said the moment the baby’s passed to you, where you're told to be topless and there’s skin on skin, will change your life forever. It got quite emotional.”
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EastEnders is on BBC One on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday as well as BBC iPlayer
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