Nicolas Cage is an actor of an extraordinary nature. He often pulls out all the stops for his films and really gets into his roles. This is also the case in one of his early works, for which he says he cut his own teeth in an interview with Vanity Fair.
In the Vanity Fair video, Nicolas Cage watches excerpts from his films and reflects on the circumstances of his work at the time. Among them is a clip from the romantic comedy “Moonstruck” from 1987, in which Nicolas Cage can be seen alongside Cher. In the short film clip, we see the actor with a gap in his upper jaw, which was not actually planned as a feature of the character. As Nicolas Cage explains afterwards, the gap in his teeth is the result of another project:
“So what happened was, I had baby teeth. I did a movie called ‘Birdy’ and I decided to pull out my baby teeth for this character, Al Columbato, and then they didn’t grow back as fast, so you can still see the gap in my teeth in ‘Moonstruck.
Nicolas Cage’s preparations for “Birdy”
“Birdy” is an anti-war film by Alan Parker from 1984. The screenplay, written by Sandy Kroopf and Jack Behr, is based on the novel of the same name by William Wharton. The 120-minute film tells the story of two soldiers, Birdy (Matthew Modine) and Al Columbato (Nicolas Cage), who return home after their deployment in Vietnam and have to deal with the consequences of the war.
While Birdy struggles with mental issues, Al Columbato is characterized by physical injuries – the character wears a head bandage due to an accident in the war. According to SlashFilm, so that Nicolas Cage could get an accurate idea of the situation, he not only pulled out his teeth without undergoing anesthesia first, but also walked around with bandages around his head for five weeks, not even taking them off when he slept. The actor wanted to get an impression of how war veterans were punished with disapproving looks and rejected by society in order to achieve the performance that we can marvel at in the finished film.
If you want to watch “Birdy”, you can on Prime Video.