Refinery29 pointed out that earlier this month, New York Times pop culture reporter Kyle Buchanan speculated that the Oscar winning actress was wearing fake teeth in the season 2 trailer. “A source told me last year that Meryl wanted to wear fake teeth to play Skarsgård’s mom in Big Little Lies,” he wrote in the Tweet on May 10.” Do we think she’s wearing them here? Can’t quite tell.”
Then on Thursday, May 30, executive producer Gregg Fienberg confirmed to Page Six that they were in fact prosthetics. “Yes they were 100% fashioned and inspired by Alex’s teeth,” he told the publication. “She is his mother after all. It was Meryl’s brilliant idea.”
Streep’s hair and makeup artist for over 30 years J. Roy Helland told Refinery29 that she wanted them so she could “be believable as Perry’s mother.” So Helland commissioned Chris Lyon’s of Fangs FX to mimic the Skarsgård’s teeth.
This isn’t the first time the 69-year-old has changed up her look for a role. When she played Margaret Thatcher in 2011’s The Iron Lady she wore a full silicone mask. Then to reflect the different ages of the Prime Minister, Hellend, prosthetics artist Mark Coulier and makeup effects artist Barrie Gower made 20 full neckpieces, 20 sets of cheeks and 40 sets of noses for the actress to wear throughout the film according to the Chicago Tribune.
And who could forget her portrayal of The Witch in Into the Woods? With her crazy long blue hair, rotting teeth, extra pointy chin and pale wrinkled face, she looked nothing like the beautiful and beloved Streep we know.
When it comes to nailing a character no one does it better that Streep, prosthetics or not.