Spot the real Anil Kapoor

Bollywood star Anil Kapoor with a wax figure (left) of his character in Slumdog Millionaire.
Bollywood star Anil Kapoor with a wax figure (left) of his character in Slumdog Millionaire.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

The Bollywood actor is in town to launch the International Indian Film Academy Awards Experience at Madame Tussauds, where his wax figure is on display

Bollywood stalwart Anil Kapoor came face to face with his wax doppelganger yesterday at Madame Tussauds Singapore.

The figure depicting his game show host character in the 2008 Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire is the 60-year-old actor's first wax tribute after more than three decades in the business.

Kapoor is best known for his role in 1987 Hindi film Mr India and went on to star opposite Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2012) as well as play a president on the drama series 24.

He said: "In your first decade, you take it for granted. In the second decade, you don't really cherish it. But, in the fourth decade of my career, for something like this to happen, I appreciate it much more."

The figure is part of the new IIFA Awards Experience exhibition in the wax museum.

The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards is an annual awards ceremony honouring the Indian film industry. Just like the stars at the awards ceremony, patrons will get to walk down a green carpet as paparazzi flashbulbs go off.

The exhibition also features the wax figures of other iconic Bollywood actors, including Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Amitabh Bachchan.

Kapoor said the sitting sessions to capture his likeness took place last year and were "taxing". "You need a lot of patience and concentration," he added.

While the Slumdog game show host is not necessarily his most iconic role, he told The Straits Times that the devilishly charming but villainous character was "very layered and real, and that's what people connected to".

"We're not all heroes in real life - we have our dark sides, ambition, greed for power and selfishness. All these things made this character much more exciting for me to play," he said.

At the unveiling, the charismatic Kapoor also gamely danced along to the song Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire, pulling in people from the crowd.

A section in the exhibition uses augmented reality to allow visitors to dance to a Bollywood song with backup dancers and see themselves on a large projection screen.

Kapoor danced despite a chronic injury he is seeking treatment for. He described the injury as an inflammation between his left ankle and heel and it "has been nagging me for many years".

It worsened while he was filming his latest film Mubarakan, a romantic comedy, in London recently. He has also had to delay another upcoming film by a month, while he recovers.

On top of that, he has filmed a pilot episode for an Amazon Prime Video series called Oasis.

The series, which also stars Game Of Thrones' Richard Madden, is based on the 2014 novel The Book Of Strange Things.

Kapoor plays Vikram Danesh, the head of a base in space called Oasis.

The series has not received the green light from Amazon for a full season.

He said: "Hopefully, it'll be greenlit and, if that happens, it'll happen next year, but I shoot for it this year."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2017, with the headline 'Spot the real Anil Kapoor'. Print Edition | Subscribe