Making movies sometimes requires actors to go through major physical transformations. However, Ben Mendelsohn apparently was willing to go to extremes to get one role just right. There's an infamous story going around Hollywood that when getting ready for his supporting role in The Place Beyond the Pines, Ben Mendelsohn offered to pull his teeth so that he would look more like the character he was supposed to be playing. As it turns out, the story is pretty close to accurate.
In The Place Beyond the Pines Ben Mendelsohn plays the role of Robin. Apparently, Mendelsohn really wanted the role, even though the role was written for somebody a bit older than the actor. The character was written as having no teeth and wearing dentures. Mendelsohn was so committed to the part that he actually got the film's director in touch with his own dentist in order to see about having pre-existing dental work removed. They eventually decided not to do it, because that would be weird, but the actor recently admitted to The Wrap that the story is absolutely true. He didn't offer to have actual teeth removed but very nearly so.
Yeah, I did. Well, I didn't offer to get them pulled. There's a couple that are gone anyway, so I offered to get them taken back out. He's written as largely toothless and stuff, so I figure, if you've been dentally challenged, it's not unreasonable to offer it up.
Apparently, what Ben Mendelsohn thinks of as "not unreasonable" is something different than the rest of us would think of that way. Dental work is not the sort of thing most of us would do voluntarily, and yet Ben Mendelsohn, who had apparently gone through it previously to get his teeth fixed, was willing to do so again to get everything removed, which, we assume, would have been followed by a third procedure to get his teeth fixed again after filming was over. That's a level of dedication we're not sure Daniel Day-Lewis could match.
Ben Mendelsohn apparently plays the long game when it comes to making movies. He says that since movies can have an incredibly long life, it's worth it to make the short-term sacrifice in order to do right by the film. While most of us probably wouldn't be willing to make such a sacrifice, as movie fans, we're certainly glad that there are people like Ben Mendelsohn out there who are.
While Ben Mendelsohn was saved the time in the dentist's chair, The Place Beyond the Pines was a very well regarded film, so it will likely see the long life that the actor was hoping for. Co-star Ryan Gosling, luckily, didn't make his face tattoo permanent, as he discovered early on that was a bad idea.