Sex dolls and spouses keep socially distanced soap opera steamy as filming resumes after coronavirus lockdown

It’s bold, but will it be beautiful?

As soap operas and other shows ramp up post-coronavirus lockdown, the new normal poses a few obstacles.

Production experts for “The Bold and the Beautiful,” and others of its ilk, must come to terms with filming sex scenes in the age of social distancing.

And for that, “The Bold and The Beautiful” is taking its sex dolls out of mothballs.

Cast and crew began arriving on set Wednesday, according to The Wrap. It’s the first show to resume filming as coronavirus-induced production shutdowns are lifted. The challenge, as executive producer and head writer Bradley Bell told Forbes, is to keep it steamy while keeping the actual people apart.

As in life, trying to abstain just didn’t cut it.

“We were cutting all of the kisses, and the shows weren’t the same,” Bell said.

To keep the Emmy-winning program’s 35 million viewers engaged so as not to disrupt the ad-revenue stream — $8 million in the first quarter of 2020 alone, Forbes said, and $36 million last year — the crew had to get extra creative.

Some scenes will swap in actors’ spouses, since they are quarantining together anyway. But other stand-ins will be dusted-off, makeup-swabbed, wigged-out sex dolls.

It’s not the first time mannequins and sex dolls have been used in lieu of real people in an effort to promote social distancing. Such dolls cheered soccer players on not too long ago at a Korean sports stadium, and mannequins have been known to show up in restaurants.

But this time the dolls will be used for actual sex.

“We have some lifelike blowup dolls that have been sitting around here for the past 15 years, that we’ve used for various other stories — [like] when people were presumed dead,” Bell told Forbes. “We’re dusting off the dolls and putting new wigs and makeup on them, and they’ll be featured in love scenes.”

It will be perhaps not unlike performing opposite a CGI character, with each actor going through the motions alone, Forbes said, inches from the camera.

“They’ll look like they’re nose-to-nose, in the throes of passion,” Bell told Forbes. “But they’ll be shooting scenes all by themselves.”

Other measures will be in place as well. Cast and crew must be tested for COVID-19 before being allowed to return to the set, Forbes said. A coordinator will ensure a limited number of people on stage at a time, setting up appropriately distanced areas for hair, makeup and props, among other adjustments.

The crew has been preparing for the past month or more, Bell told The Hollywood Reporter. They’ve modified the studio and production booth, instituted testing protocols and are working with a group called Reel Health to help them navigate.

“We feel we’re ready to go,” Bell told The Hollywood Reporter. “Safety is our utmost concern and will be as we return to production.”