Moviegoers love a good biopic, and right now there's one making tons of money at the box office. Bryan Singer's Bohemian Rhapsody tells the tale of Freddie Mercury, and the early days of the legendary band Queen. The pressure was on to deliver for the generations of Queens fans out there, as well as tell Mercury's story in a way that was both truthful and respectful of the late singer.
The weight of this responsibility fell on Mr. Robot actor Rami Malek, who was tasked with playing Freddie Mercury throughout a fairly length period in his life. Despite obviously not having Mercury's signature vocal talent, Malek has been garnering praise for disappearing into the legend's character. One of the ways this was done was through the false teeth, and it turns out that they were originally going to be much larger. As movie tooth maker Chris Lyons explained,
We did varying sizes going all the way up to Freddie-sized teeth. When we did the first big test and presented it to [the director] Bryan Singer, that's when we realized if we went for the full-sized teeth, they were going to be far too big on Rami because of his size. We scaled it down so that everything matched with Rami's face and features.
While Rami Malek needed false teeth in order to portray Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, there can be too much of a good thing. And originally it appears that the prosthesis used were too big for Malek's face, and would have look very odd on screen. Luckily the changes were made, and Malek's grill was ready in time for filming.
In his same conversation with the New York Times, Chris Lyons explained how vital the teeth were to the performance, and to transforming Rami Malek into the late, great Freddy Mercury. As he tells it,
They're big teeth and they're a little bit buck, so they stick forward slightly. When they go in Rami's mouth, it pushes his lip forward to give him that overbite look and makes it look more like Freddie's mouth. Freddie was very self-conscious about his teeth and was often trying to hide them with his lip. Rami loved that, because he had to work to hide these teeth as Freddie did.
Aside from more closely resembling Freddie Mercury's appearance, it also seems that Rami Malek's false teeth helped to inform his process as an actor, and transform from the outside in.
You can see Rami Malek's performance, complete with those teeth, as Bohemian Rhapsody is in theaters now. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.