Did Regina King Use Fake Teeth in Shirley?

Netflix’s ‘Shirley’ takes the audience on a historical journey as a Black woman tries to break barriers by attempting something that had never been done before in the history of her country. After becoming the first Black woman to be elected to Congress, Shirley Chisholm decided to run for the President of the United States, and the Netflix film focuses on her campaign to which she gives her all, even when there are people who don’t believe in her dream. Academy Award-winner Regina King brings the role of Shirley Chisholm to the screen with an incandescent charisma, completely slipping into the character emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Regina King Wore Fake Teeth to Complete Shirley Chisholm’s Look

Image Credit: Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons

Known for her uninhibited personality and fiery speeches, Shirley Chisholm was a trailblazer who set the path for Black people in American politics, encouraging them to shoot for the stars, even if people didn’t believe in them. Regina King slipped into the role of Shirley, and to become the character, she completely took over the elements from her personality, and the makeup department made sure that she looked the part, getting all the details right, down to the gap in her teeth.

In real life, Shirley Chisholm had a gap tooth on the right side, and while it wasn’t a defining factor of her appearance, it was clearly visible whenever she flashed her hearty smile. In the career of politics, appearances matter, and had it been anyone else, they would probably have gotten their teeth fixed to have the “perfect smile” for their perfect look. Shirley, however, didn’t bother with such facades. She was unapologetic in every aspect of her life, and that included her appearance. She didn’t need to fix her teeth to be more appealing to the people. Her policies, her beliefs, and her actions were all that mattered.

Image Credit: Glen Wilson/Netflix

In bringing Shirley Chisholm to life in the Netflix film, Regina King completed the look of the character with fake teeth. In real life, King doesn’t have a gap tooth. She is very particular about dental hygiene and revealed that initially, she’d thought about becoming a dentist. When she was young, her peers detested the visits to the dentist, but she loved it. She revealed that she would floss to impress her dentist and his wife because they not only made her understand the importance of dental hygiene but also made it fun. They also had a great set of teeth, and from there, King picked up her habits as well.

After school, King enrolled in the University of Southern California and was on her way to becoming a dentist, but then, she decided to drop out and explore a career in acting instead. The sudden change in her decision was not welcomed by her parents, but they didn’t discourage her, so King decided to follow her passion for acting. While she may not have chosen to pursue the profession, she kept up with her habit of proper dental hygiene.

Read More: What Happened to Shirley Chisholm’s Mom and Sister?