The Real Story Behind Meryl Streep's Teeth In Big Little Lies

Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock.
As if we weren't excited enough for the second season of Big Little Lies, Meryl Streep had to go and take on the new part of Mary Louise Wright, the mother of the late Perry Wright (who, as you'll recall, spent the majority of season one abusing his wife, Celeste). Now, it seems like Streep is bringing an even bigger mystery along with her for season two, and it has nothing to do with murder — just teeth.
Earlier this month, a tweet from New York Times pop culture reporter Kyle Buchanan kicked off a rumor that Streep wore fake teeth to play Mary Louise, whose fictional son is played by Alexander Skarsgård. "A source told me last year that Meryl wanted to wear fake teeth to play Skarsgård's mom in Big Little Lies 2... do we think she's wearing them here? Can't quite tell," Buchanan wrote.
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The question went unanswered for weeks — but Streep's hair and makeup artist, J. Roy Helland, gave us the official word that the actress' teeth on the show are prosthetics. What's more, makeup department head for the show, Michelle Radow, confirms that the idea to wear fake teeth was Streep's all along.
Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Helland tells Refinery29 that, for Streep to play Perry's mother, she had to look like him — which meant looking like Skarsgård, the actor who played him. "She needed to be believable as Perry’s mother," said Helland. He commissioned the teeth to be made by Chris Lyons of Fangs FX to look exactly like the actor's.
Perry may be dead, but it looks like we will be getting a glimpse of him in the second season, which premieres June 9 on HBO — even if only through Streep's special-effects teeth.
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