Celebrities are a tooth-obsessed bunch. They furiously file down their natural chompers to vampiric points and overlay them with pristine porcelain veneers, such that almost every famous face bears a blinding white-picket-fence grin. Given the outsized emphasis Hollywood heaps on perfect pearly whites, celebs probably think about teeth constantly, air-dropping one another stock images of sparkling molars in between takes I bet. This theory may explain why Meryl Streep reportedly requested custom prosthetics for her Big Little Lies role as Alexander Skarsgård’s mother. In order to really capture her character’s essence — to really convince you of their family ties — Streep required a more authentically Skarsgårdian mouth, something no amount of raw thespian power can manifest.
Skarsgård played abusive husband Perry Wright, offed in the show’s eleventh hour by a troupe of rightfully enraged housewives. In season two, Streep’s Mary Louise Wright comes sniffing around California’s most dramatic beach community for answers, hell-bent on uncovering the truth about her son’s death. You might think that Streep’s chameleon-like ability to channel any conceivable persona would be overwhelming enough to distract viewers from dental discrepancies, but no.
Seen here, Streep’s everyday teeth:
Compare those to her TV son’s teeth:
Based solely on these two toothy displays, would you buy this pair as close relations? I didn’t think so, and apparently, neither did Streep. Earlier this month, a rumor circulated that Streep wore prosthetics during filming, and now, her hair and makeup artist, J. Roy Helland, has confirmed the theory to Refinery29: “She needed to be believable as Perry’s mother,” Helland said. And so she needed teeth that look like his, which is to say, tiny little Skarsgård tusks that protrude slightly from her mouth, like so:
If only they’d applied the same level of scrutiny to the Big Little Lies wigs.