Lady In The Van. Maggie Smith Character Creation

Dame Maggie Smith is regarded as one of Britain’s best loved actresses, and is renowned for her ability to take on different roles bravely and with great style. Her most recent appearance is in the great adaptation of Alan Bennett’s iconic play The Lady In The Van, where she plays  a beloved character by the name of Miss Mary Shepherd – a true London matriarch who gives Dame Maggie plenty of room to show off her incredible acting range.

Fangs FX worked closely with Dame Maggie Smith to help her create the look and feel of Mar Shepherd, working to give her a set of prosthetic teeth that not only helped her to look like the beloved Alan Bennett character, but also to get her speech just how she wanted it. Speech is an important part of adopting a role, which Chris Lyons and his team know only too well having created teeth for huge stars like Tilda Swinton and massive productions like Game of Thrones. Making teeth that capture the look of a character but also make the actor in question feel comfortable is an essential in the makeup special FX world, and their care in this is why Fangs FX are among the industry leaders!

The character of Mary Shepherd was designed to express the tragic and difficult existence of a derelict elderly person, something than Dame Maggie Smith doesn’t obviously represent in her normal look, and so the making of the special dental prosthetics really affects how the part is played by such an esteemed actress. Chris Lyons and the Fangs FX team hope audiences will enjoy the great performance Dame Maggie and her teeth were able to bring to this classic role!