“We shaved Nic’s teeth down and the dentures were fitted”: Nicolas Cage Permanently Damaged His Teeth To Play His Lifelong Dream Role in $65M Film

Nicolas Cage Permanently Damaged His Teeth To Play His Lifelong Dream Role in $65M Film
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There’s a horde of talented actors who have made extreme sacrifices in the process of mastering the art of method acting. Robert De Niro drove taxis 12 hours a day for a month straight in New York for his role in the 1976 cult classic Taxi Driver. While Leonardo DiCaprio subjected himself to incredulous conditions by eating raw bison liver despite his veganism and spending months on the verge of hypothermia during The Revenant. And for Chris McKay’s Renfield, which served as a passion project of Nicolas Cage’s, the actor relinquished his teeth.

Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage

See also: Renfield ‘Overlook Film Fest’ Review – A Bloody Good Time

Nicolas Cage Wore Custom Dracula Fangs in Renfield 

A contemporary monster tale based on Bram Stroker’s iconic characters, Renfield is a horror-comedy helmed by Primetime Emmy winner Chris McKay, with a story penned by popular comic book writer Robert Kirkman. The film stars Nicolas Cage as Dracula and Nicholas Hoult portraying the titular character of Dracula’s loyal servant, along with Awkwafina (Ocean’s 8), Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation), and Brandon Scott Jones (Ghosts). 


While the film transpired as a calamity at the box office, grossing a scanty sum of $23.6 million against a budget of $65 million, it’s imperative to know that Cage left no stone unturned for this project. In fact, the Ghost Rider star went to such lengths that he willingly suffered permanent dental damage to depict the classic vampire on the big screen.

Nicolas Cage as Dracula in Renfield (2023)

In a new interview with Variety, Renfield’s makeup artist Christien Tinsley revealed how they had to “shave” their lead actor’s real teeth to fit the customized Dracula dentures, which they 3D printed.

“This was the first film that I know of where we used 3D printing to do all the dentures,” Tinsley noted. “We jumped in headfirst with 3D printing. We would scan Nic’s teeth and digitally sculpt them.”

After the faux teeth were ready, Tinsley said, “We Nic’s teeth down, and the dentures were fitted so as not to impede on Nic’s speech and allow full freedom.” It was especially important for the “veneers” to be “thin” so that Cage could “emote and annunciate properly.” What’s more, he had to sit down for three long hours each day for Drac’s makeup. Talk about dedication.


See also: ‘Me when the drugs start kicking in’: Fans Troll Nicolas Cage for Saying His Earliest Childhood Memory is His Mother’s Womb

Why Nicolas Cage Sacrificed His Teeth For Renfield

The National Treasure star has a reputation for rejecting big studio films after being offered non-leading roles. However, courtesy of Cage’s lifelong desire to depict the legendary monster, the Academy Award winner decided to make an exception for Renfield. Which also explains the extremes he went to when he landed the role. Shaving his teeth held nothing over getting to play Dracula on-screen. Not to mention, he’s also a huge fan of Christopher Lee’s iconic portrayal of Count Dracula in the 1958 classic.

See also: Nicolas Cage Made an Irredeemable Mistake After Rejecting Two of the Greatest Movie Roles in History: “I have turned down some enormous opportunities”

Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage wore custom Dracula fangs

Even McKay believed that Cage was the perfect pick for the character. “[Cage’s] father played the movie Nosferatu for him when he was five years old,” the director told Forbes.

“I think that vampires and gothic films and silent movie acting were indelibly imprinted on him when he was really young.”

Besides, the Con Air star himself had a gala time throughout the film. So, giving up his teeth was probably worth it for him.

Renfield can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video.

Source: Variety 

Written by Khushi Shah

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With a prolific knowledge of everything pop culture and a strong penchant for writing, Khushi has penned over 700 articles during her time as an author at FandomWire.
An abnormal psychology student and an fervent reader of dark fiction, her most trusted soldiers are coffee and a good book.