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,
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.
Indeed, when Bohemian Rhapsody‘s trailer first debuted online, Rami Malek’s resemblance to Freddie Mercury was uncanny. It garnered the project positive attention, which it needed in the wake of Bryan Signer’s departure and the controversy surrounding the portrayal of Mercury’s sexuality.
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,
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.