If you're going to make a blockbuster biopic about Elton John, there are a few elements of the rock star's life that absolutely must be accounted for. Luckily, Rocketman, the colourful film starring summer's breakout star, Taron Egerton, as the five-time Grammy winner, delivers on all of it — including the singer's famous gap teeth.
Egerton's teeth are actually famous in their own right (they already have their own Twitter account), but a gap like John's needed to be created during production. Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, the hair and makeup designer for Rocketman, tells Refinery29 that special effects and prosthetics artist Chris Lyons originally made fake teeth for Egerton to wear as John, but the idea was ditched during hair and makeup tests. The actor revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher vetoed the fake teeth out of fear that they would impede Egerton's ability to sing and speak on-camera. "I felt very strongly that I could do it, but he was absolutely adamant," he told THR.
In fact, Fletcher directed Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in last year's awards-season sweep, Bohemian Rhapsody (after Bryan Singer was fired two weeks before production wrapped). For that film, Malek was allowed to wear replicas of the Queen frontman's iconic teeth — but mostly lip-synced for the role. Since that wasn't the case for Egerton (yep, he really sings in Rocketman), Yianni-Georgiou ended up using special ink as an alternative to create the tooth gap. Clearly, that worked out just fine: As John himself told THR of seeing Egerton on screen, "I didn't think it was Taron. I thought it was me."