Beloved Bollywood actress Kajol immortalised in wax at Madame Tussauds Singapore

A wax figure of Bollywood actress Kajol was unveiled at Madame Tussauds Singapore, a tribute to her 26-year-long career in the Indian film industry.
Bollywood star Kajol with her wax statue at Madame Tussauds Singapore.
Bollywood star Kajol with her wax statue at Madame Tussauds Singapore.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

One of Bollywood's most successful and beloved actresses, Kajol, got a chance to stand beside a wax figure of her likeness on Thursday evening at Madame Tussauds Singapore.

Dressed in a black floral sari, she posed next to her doppelganger, who was clad in a shimmery black body-hugging gown during the private unveiling ceremony.

The occasion marked the 43-year-old's first red-carpet appearance with her 15-year-old daughter, Nysa, and her first wax tribute in her 26-year-long career in the Indian film industry.

The bubbly star and mother of two is married to fellow actor Ajay Devgan and is best known for her roles in hit movies such as romance Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), drama My Name Is Khan (2010) and action comedy Dilwale (2015).

She says of being immortalised in wax: "It feels a little strange. But more than anything, it's an honour, given that I remember visiting the museum in London as a kid and standing next to Napoleon Bonaparte's figure because I was a history buff. To now be the figure that people will pose next to is special."

Hers is the seventh statue to be part of Madam Tussauds' IIFA (International Indian Film Academy) Awards Experience exhibition, a section that honours stars from the Indian film industry.

The exhibition also features the wax likenesses of iconic Bollywood actors such as Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Amitabh Bachchan and was launched here last April by veteran actor Anil Kapoor.

Bollywood star Kajol with her wax statue at Madame Tussauds Singapore.
Bollywood star Kajol with her wax statue at Madame Tussauds Singapore. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Last December, a group of skilled Madame Tussauds sculpting members travelled to Mumbai to meet Kajol and conduct a detailed sitting process. More than 200 measurements were taken and the team also carefully noted the colour of her hair, skin and eyes to ensure an accurate representation of the star.

Kajol said: "It was an exhausting process. They had to take so many measurements, including things like the distance from my nose to my ear. But it was definitely worth the wait."

As one of the most highly paid and sought-after actresses in the 1990s, she has seen the Indian film industry grow over the years, especially with regard to increased global interest in Bollywood cinema today.

"I think cinema around the world has truly broken boundaries, thanks to the digital age that we live in," she said. "These days, people might not have an address, but they have a cellphone and can surf. That's why cinema is now being held to a higher standard."

The actress will next be seen as an aspiring singer and single mother in the comedy drama, Eela, a big-screen adaptation of Indian film-maker Anand Gandhi's Gujarati play, Beta Kaagdo, which is slated to be released in September.

But her immediate plans are to celebrate the completion of her wax figure with Nysa, who studies in Singapore. "I know my daughter is going to look at me later and tell me she prefers me without any make-up on," she says with a laugh.

"But I'm looking forward to celebrating by having some quality mother-daughter time tonight."

Spot the real Kajol

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 26, 2018, with the headline 'Bollywood actress gets her own wax statue'. Print Edition | Subscribe