Some call it cheesy, some think it’s creepy but majority of the population cannot resist getting up close and personal with their favourite celebrities. With Madame Tussauds, the world’s finest wax museum now in Delhi, it’s easier still to gape at Shah Rukh’s dimples and pose alongside Kajol, hand on hip. Till you get there, here’s some Tussauds trivia to chew on…
Madame Tussaud was a real person! Born Marie Grosholtz in 1761 in France, she learnt the craft of making wax models from her mentor Dr Philippe Curtius, who made wax models to illustrate anatomy. Her own waxwork is also available for viewing at her own museum.
In 2010, Ozzy Osbourne posed as himself and had unsuspecting visitors jumping in fright! A similar scene was seen in the film Fan (2016), starring Shah Rukh Khan. Parts of the film were shot at Madame Tussauds London, making it the first Indian film to be shot there. Some sequences of the film Housefull 3 were also shot here.
Amitabh Bachchan became the first living Asian and Bollywood star to be immortalised at London's Madame Tussauds wax museum in 2000. His wax statues were also placed in New York in 2009, Hong Kong in 2011, Bangkok in 2011 and Washington, DC in 2012. For the first time in the wax museum’s history, Bachchan was nominated by fans in a global online poll.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was the first Bollywood actress to have her wax statue at the prestigious Madame Tussauds wax museum in London in 2004, joining her father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan. Her wax figure was also displayed at Madame Tussauds Times Square in New York, in 2007.
Varun Dhawan became the youngest Bollywood star to be cast in wax at Madame Tussauds. His statue has him doing the iconic 'Disco deewane…' hook step from his debut film, Student of the Year.
When Madame Tussauds wanted to make a figure of Mother Teresa, she declined, saying that her works were more important than her physical being.
Creating the incredibly lifelike wax sculptures is meticulous work. The artists need to take 150 – 500 measurements of the person and famous personalities need to be measured more than once. Queen Elizabeth needed to model for her waxwork 17 times! And no, not even the Queen of England was paid for being part of Madame Tussauds.
The first Madame Tussauds in India opened in New Delhi on 1 December 2017, with its operator Merlin Entertainments planning an investment of 50 million pounds over the next 10 years. It features over 50 wax models including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar, Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio, Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie, Asha Bhosle, Kapil Dev, Mary Kom and Tom Cruise.
Feeling a tad dwarfed even by the petite and pretty Madhuri Dixit waxwork? That’s because the wax figures are 2% larger than the actual people. At least 250 precise measurements and photos of different angles are taken and then increased by 2%, as wax shrinks.
We predict Sunny Leone might soon overtake even greats like PM Narendra Modi and Sachin Tendulkar, to become the most popular celebrity waxwork at Madame Tussauds Delhi, which will be unveiled later this year. In January, she was understandably excited about trying to find the exact colour match of her eyes for the wax figure.
Anil Kapoor’s wax sculpture captures an iconic moment from the Academy Award winning Hollywood film Slumdog Millionaire. Anil struck a similar pose as he unveiled his wax replica.
When Shah Rukh Khan’s wax statue was unveiled at London's Madame Tussauds in 2007 he had famously said, “My mother wished I was part of Madame Tussauds... and when it comes true, you think - Is this the end and am I to stop working now?” Yes, that’s about how prestigious it is to be waxed by Madame Tussauds.
Ladies longing to know how you measure up to Katrina Kaif? Sorry to stop you there – the vital statistics of celebrities, which are essential to sculpt a statue, are kept confidential.
Kajol’s latest waxwork inspired many in-family jokes. While the actress clicked a selfie with her wax statue and captioned it, “Always been a Kajol fan,” her daughter Nysa, who had accompanied her to the unveiling, froze her mother when she played an impromptu game of Statue! Husband Ajay Devgn had the last word, commenting, “Meet the silent Kajol.” Cute!