Why the Kid Stars of Harry Potter Had Fake Teeth Made During Filming

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

When the average kid loses a tooth, he or she expects a nighttime visit from the Tooth Fairy. But for the 20 or so kid actors cast in 2001’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, instead of a couple of coins, they got a fake tooth—molded from their own teeth.

At the start of production, the children cast in the film—including stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson—had to get their teeth cast and molded. This was so that if one of them lost a tooth, they could put a prop chomper back in and no one would ever know the difference, as Radcliffe recently revealed during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter at the Sundance Film Festival.

The only difference in Watson’s case, however, was that hers were going to be noticeable. In the early stages of filming, director Chris Columbus wanted to stay as true to the Harry Potter books as possible, which describe Hermione as having large teeth. So for one scene, Watson actually had to wear a pair of false teeth to make hers appear bigger. In the end, they only made it to the big screen for one scene, and then were cut out for practical purposes.

After the first couple of movies, however, the then-teenaged actors were of course free to show off their real teeth on camera.

The Mental Floss Store Is Back!

Mental Floss Store
Mental Floss Store

You've been asking about it for months, and today we can finally confirm that the Mental Floss Store is back up and running! Simply head here to find dozens of T-shirts with all sorts of unique designs to choose from, whether you’re in the market for a pi pun, a risqué grammar joke, or something only your fellow bookworms will appreciate. You can even use your new Mental Floss shirt to teach your friends all about scurvy.

Mental Floss Store

If you’re just in the mood to express your love of all things Mental Floss, you can also get our darling little logo on phone cases, tote bags, mugs, baby bibs, and more.

Mental Floss Store

Head on over to the Mental Floss Store to see our entire collection. And if you use the code FLOSSERS, you'll get 20 percent off your order. 

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

Wa Wa Wee Wa: The Origin of Borat's Favorite Catchphrase

Wa wa wee wa! Sacha Baron Cohen is back in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2020).
Wa wa wee wa! Sacha Baron Cohen is back in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2020).
Courtesy of Amazon Studios

When Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan was released in 2006, a new audience was exposed to Borat Sagdiyev, a “journalist” portrayed by Sacha Baron Cohen who had made frequent appearances on the comedian’s Da Ali G Show.

Soon, in our country there was problem: People mimicked Borat’s catchphrases, "very nice" and “wa wa wee wa,” incessantly. The latter phrase was used to denote surprise or happiness on Borat’s part. While some may have assumed it was made up, it turns out that it actually means something.

Wa wa wee wa is Hebrew, which Cohen speaks throughout the film and which helped make Borat a hit in Israel. (Cohen is himself Jewish.) It was taken from an Israeli comedy show and is the equivalent of the word wow. Reportedly, the expression was popular among Israelis, and they appreciated Cohen’s use of it.

The original Borat also sees Cohen singing a popular Hebrew folk song, “Koom Bachur Atzel,” or “get up lazy boy,” among other Hebrew mentions. It remains to be seen how much of it he’ll be speaking in the sequel, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. It premieres on Amazon Prime Friday, October 23.

[h/t The Los Angeles Times]