Madame Tussauds HollywoodJul 30th, 2009 | By Lindsay | Category: This and That
This past weekend, while out stalking in Hollywood, my fiance and I walked right past the new Madame Tussauds wax museum and I just about had a total meltdown right there on the sidewalk of Hollywood Boulevard! The museum, which was supposed to open to the public on August 1st, was hosting a special preview event when we walked by and was absolutely booming with people! I’d been awaiting the unveiling of the new Madame Tussauds location ever since hearing the news months ago that one was being built in Hollywood!!! I had never been to a Madame Tussauds before, but had heard amazing things about the place and was absolutely DYING to visit one. So, I, of course, BEGGED my fiance to let me stalk it!
Well, as you can probably guess, the Grim Cheaper wasn’t too keen on shelling out the $20-a-piece special preview admission fee to gain entrance to the museum, but I took one look at the Marilyn Monroe figure they had posed outside – dressed in the EXACT same outfit she wore to her Hand and Footprint Ceremony back in 1953, no less – and that was it!! I was NOT taking no for an answer! We were GOING to Madame Tussauds!!!!
As Madame Tussauds themselves are quick to point out, the facility is not so much a museum per se, but, rather, an attraction. At a museum, visitors walk around simply looking at different items. Touching those items is usually a rather big no-no. At Madame Tussauds, however, not only are you encouraged to touch and feel the figurines, but the place is set up so that you can actually interact with them, as well!!!! In the American Idol room, not only can you sing a karaoke song and get judged by Simon Cowell himself, but you can actually sit in the judges booth . . . .
. . . or get interviewed post-song by none other than Ryan Seacrest.
You can also share a breakfast at Tiffany’s with Audrey Hepburn;
take a Psycho-style shower with Alfred Hitchcock directing,
seduce Dustin Hoffman;
have a red carpet interview with Joan Rivers;
re-enact a scene from The Godfather;
strike a pose with Marlene Dietrich,
and sit on Forrest Gump’s bench! Oh, and did I mention that Madame Tussauds also has a myriad of wigs, costumes, and props on hand to enhance your whole experience???
The vast majority of the figures on display in Madame Tussauds’ new 40,000 square foot, $55 million “attraction” are incredibly realistic looking! So realistic looking, in fact, that my fiance was even slightly creeped out by the whole thing! Each figure takes about six months to contruct at a cost of approximately $300,000. Madame Tussaud founded her unique wax sculpting technique over 200 years ago in London. She got her start by sculpting political figures of the day and taking them on the road as part of a traveling attraction. Her first standing museum was established in 1835 at the Baker Street Bazaar, where curiosity seekers paid a sixpence to see figures such as Benjamin Franklin, Sir Walter Scott, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Today there are nine different Madame Tussauds (spelled without an apostrophe) locations stretching all across the globe, from places like Berlin and Shanghai to New York and Las Vegas. The celebrities themselves pose for Madame Tussauds’ artisans, in a detailed photography and measurement sitting which can take anywhere from fifteen minutes to four hours. Most sittings are done at Merlin Studios in London, but due to the demanding schedules of some of the featured celebrities, artisans have had to take measurements and fittings as far East as Mumbai, India to the Ivy Restaurant in Hollywood. I’m not kidding! Madame Tussauds’ artists use hundreds of measurements and photographs and go to painstaking lengths to ensure that the height, proportion, look, feel, and spirit of each figure is exactly precise. Oftentimes the celebrity will donate their own clothing, jewelry, and even shoes for their counterpart to wear. For those few times when a celebrity does not donate their own outift, exacting replicas are made. So, pretty much every single aspect of every single wax figure displayed at Madame Tussauds is authentic! So cool! You can read more about Madame Tussauds incredible waxing technique here.
My personal favorite figurine of the entire attraction was, of course, my girl Jen, who sadly was one of the least realistic-looking.
By far, the most realistic looking figurine was that of Miss Britney Spears. Hers was truly unbelievable! I couldn’t take my eyes off of it!
And I was AMAZED at the height of both John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. To give you a frame of reference, I am 5’4″”, which makes these two absolutely GINORMOUS!
Other stars on hand at the attraction include Cameron Diaz,
Robert Redford and Paul Newman,
George Burns and Bob Hope,
Sarah Michelle Geller,
Steven Spielberg – also one of the most realistic looking,
and the subject of my girlhood crush, Leo DiCaprio – sigh!,
who was far too tall for me to kiss! LOL
Ostensibly missing from the attraction was a figurine of the King of Pop, which I found especially odd since I knew he had posed for one in the past as I saw a replica of it on display when I visited the Michael Jackson Exhibit by Julien’s Auctions this past April. When I asked one of the workers about it, she said that because of his recent passing, Madame Tussands is currently in the process of sculpting a brand new tribute statue. Thankfully, though, his hand cast – along with those of several other celebrities – was on hand for all of his fans to appreciate.
Needless to say, I had an absolute BLAST at Madame Tussauds!! I loved every single minute of it! It was just SO MUCH FUN! I’m even pretty sure that my fiance, who could care less about anything having to do with Hollywood, had a good time. I really can’t recommend stalking Madame Tussauds enough!!!!! The attraction also features a sports section – which I, of course, zipped right through without a second glance LOL – for those who aren’t into the whole Hollywood thing. Oh, and please accept my apologies for being in pretty much EVERY SINGLE picture featured on this post, but I just couldn’t help myself!!!!! I was like a kid in a candy store and just HAD to pose with ALL of the figures!
Oh, and there was also a certain celebrity couple on hand that I just had to give a piece of my mind to! Felt SO good!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Madame Tussauds is located at 6933 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, right next door to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Madame Tussauds is open daily from 10am to 8pm. During the summer months, they remain open until 10pm. Tickets are $25 per adult, $18 per student aged 13 to 18, $15 per child between the ages of 7 and 12, and children under the age of 7 are free. You can visit their website here.