Since it opened in May this year, Beijing’s branch of this world-renowned wax museum has become a popular attraction where visitors can ‘meet’ celebrities and take pictures with them. So
I went along to see what the fuss was about, with my sister behind the camera, to pose alongside Brangelina, Audrey Hepburn and even the Queen of Britain!
On entering the brightly coloured building on a bustling street in Qianmen, we were first greeted
by Jackie Chan, who led the way
into the first main section called Spirit of China. Each Madame Tussauds museum around the world has a special section dedicated
to the country it’s in, and here we came across Chinese stars like actor Mei Lanfang, author Lao She and volleyball player Lang Ping. Since some celebrities belong to
a previous age, we wondered how the wax-figure makers managed
to recreate them so exactly. We were impressed to learn that it’s a prolonged and meticulous process, where designers have to watch film footage up to 70 times.
In the following corner, we were granted an audience with members of the British Royal Family. Knowing that the wax figures are based on accurate measurements of the people they represent, we were startled by how tall Prince William and his wife Catherine were. It was particularly fun to pose with props, in this case a sparkling tiara and
a white cloak to complement the regal setting.
In the next corner, we came face to face with world figures present and past, including Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin and Karl Marx. It was fascinating to see them come alive in front of an elaborate backdrop: Obama with a huge desk, Putin with many agents, and Marx surrounded by thick books. We then went on
to admire a wax figure of Madame Tussauds herself, then got an insight into how the figures are created in a step-by-step guide.
Onwards, and it was time to meet international stars in sport, music and film. In the sports section,
we cooed over David Beckham,
Yao Ming and Usain Bolt who were posing with their key item, such as a football or a tennis racket; while in the music section, we saw legends Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Jay Chou and others frozen in their signature poses or waving. We then had the opportunity to feel like a pop star ourselves by posing with real instruments on a stage.
In the film section, we were surrounded by celebrities from different countries and eras, such as Marilyn Monroe, Sun Li and Daniel Craig. We were amused to see some uniquely posed – my favourite was Bruce Lee karate-ing in mid-air.
Finally, we arrived at the much- anticipated A-list section. In a room packed with stars like Leonardo Di Caprio, Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie and Huang Xiaoming, we felt like we were on the red carpet – but better, since they don’t blink and we could take all the time we wanted taking pictures with them!
In roaming around the halls, it’s easy to get caught in the moment and experiment with wild poses. But remember that Madame Tussauds wants visitors to show respect to the wax figures, so when you go, make sure you contain your excitement and don’t do anything that you wouldn’t do to the actual person!
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