Sweet Tooth Star Reveals How Gus' Deer Ears Worked (And How Much Candy He Ate) For The Robert Downey Jr. Show

christian convery as gus for sweet tooth season 1
(Image credit: Netflix)

Sweet Tooth premiered back in June to bring a one-of-a-kind series to Netflix, and even fans unfamiliar with the comic source material had reason to be excited thanks to none other than Robert Downey Jr. on board as an executive producer. The show introduced a world of a collapsed society after a viral pandemic that coincided with babies being born as human/animal hybrids, with some of the few surviving humans blaming the babies and hunting them. Despite how serious the premise is, Christian Convery was completely endearing as the totally innocent Gus, not to mention adorable with his deer ears, antlers, and very sweet tooth. Now, the actor has dropped some details about playing Gus ahead of Season 2.

The 11-year-old actor filmed a video for the 2021 DC FanDome presentation in honor of Sweet Tooth and not only shared his excitement for showing more of the hybrid kids in Season 2, but also answered some questions about how the show brought the world of Sweet Tooth to life. One of the most notable things about Gus –once you get over the antlers, anyway – is how his deer ears actually move and look as real as anybody else’s ears. It would have been a lot of CGI for the Sweet Tooth team to do for every Gus scene, but they were clearly not just ears on a headband. So how did it work? Ahead of Season 2, Christian Convery explained:

So the ears are actually controlled not in post production and not by me. It’s actually a whole rig that controls them. So it starts by me putting on the skull cap, which holds the wig and the antlers, but the ears are actually connected to that skull cap, and the ears have wires that run down my neck and onto the pouch on my back that’s strapped onto me. And then there’s a puppeteer and we kind of work together to remote control the ears and think of cool ideas that we could do during the scene to really make Gus come alive.

Sweet Tooth did indeed go for practical effects for Gus’ ears, not fully CGI or even just motionless ears that were given life in post production with CGI. If anything, the real story behind the ears as told by Christian Convery at this particular point ahead of Season 2 is more straightforward, with a wig and wires and a puppeteer. That doesn’t mean it was easy, though! 

I for one didn’t spot the wires at all, and one of my biggest questions after just the first episode of Sweet Tooth was how the show did his ears. The truth is much more fun than just CGI, in my book at least, and kudos to Christian Convery. He already deserved immense credit for his performance as the heart of a high-profile and extremely unique series (produced by MCU star Robert Downey Jr. himself), but he gets credit for wearing those ears with no problem. How many actors could pull that off at his age? 

Of course, there were some perks to playing Gus that Christian Convery probably didn’t need any practice or help with. He couldn’t play the kid known as “Sweet Tooth” without eating a whole bunch of candy whenever Gus could get his hands on it! And it turns out that the candy wasn’t all TV magic either with Convery snacking on a piece or two. He shared:

The amount of pieces of candy I think I ate, probably about more than five hundred, but I’m definitely not complaining. That was amazing. I do have a sweet tooth in real life too.

How many people get to indulge their real-life sweet tooth for their job? Hopefully Gus (and Christian Convery) enjoyed it a whole lot for Season 1, because based on the cliffhanger with Gus joining so many other hybrids in captivity, it’s probably safe to say that his captors aren’t going to be giving him all the candy he can eat. 

Unfortunately, Sweet Tooth doesn’t have a premiere date just yet for the second season, but you can always watch and rewatch Season 1 streaming on Netflix now (opens in new tab). Plus, there’s always the comic source material by Jeff Lemire, who is responsible for creating the world of Sweet Tooth in the first place. 

DC FanDome has delivered all kinds of fun reveals already, not the least of which have been a first look at the Flash movie and the first look at Grant Gustin’s new Flash suit for Season 8 of The Flash TV show. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more on the superhero front!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.