The Art of Creating False Teeth for the Movies

Gary Archer has spent most of his life making prosthetic teeth, or dentures, like his father before him. He was asked to make a special set of teeth to use in the 1993 movie Mrs. Doubtfire, which led to other movie projects, and now he's the go-to guy in Hollywwod for movie teeth. Archer tells us about some of the film projects he provided teeth for.

“I saw something on the BBC website, I don’t know whether it was last year or this year, where they were talking about quintessentially bad British teeth. On the page they had a picture of Austin Powers. Someone forwarded that to me, and I said, I think I’m responsible for propagating this myth about bad British teeth. When Mike Myers first came to me on this, he said, ‘I want bad British 1960s teeth’. There’s an English pub out here where I live in the Valley and a lot of English expats are in there. And so I basically looked at a lot of the smiles from the clientele there.

“I just modelled Austin Powers on two or three different people that I used to drink with in this pub. I took pictures, I made sketches and then came up with a design. And straight away Mike loved it. He said that I’d absolutely nailed it. So we ran with it. He made those teeth famous. In the third movie, which is set in modern times, he has his teeth all fixed up. Yet without the real, bad teeth in, he isn’t Austin Powers. He’s just Mike Myers wearing a pair of glasses and a colourful costume, which isn’t the same. So they always made him go back in time, so he could have his bad British teeth again. They were integral to the character.”

A lot of Archer's movie work involves undoing what a movie star spends so much money on. To make a character believable, their teeth cannot be perfectly straight and Hollywood white. Read the stories of seven movies and the teeth they used at Little White Lies. -via Digg

(Image credit: Timba Smits)

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