Local celebrities set in wax

Madame Tussauds Singapore will feature singer Stefanie Sun, film-maker Jack Neo and actor Gurmit Singh

Wax figures of film-maker Jack Neo (left) and actor Gurmit Singh, in his Phua Chu Kang persona (below), will be shown at Sentosa.
Wax figures of film-maker Jack Neo (left) and actor Gurmit Singh, in his Phua Chu Kang persona (below), will be shown at Sentosa. PHOTOS: ST FILE
Wax figures of film-maker Jack Neo (left) and actor Gurmit Singh, in his Phua Chu Kang persona (below), will be shown at Sentosa. PHOTOS: ST FILE

At least three local celebrities will have wax figures of themselves displayed at the Madame Tussauds Singapore wax museum, which opens later this month.

Singer Stefanie Sun, film-maker Jack Neo and actor-host Gurmit Singh will be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with international stars such as Lady Gaga, David Beckham, Beyonce and Michelle Yeoh.

Sun and Neo tell Life! they were honoured to have figures made of them.

Neo, 54, says: "I am very happy to be selected. Usually, I can see only an image of myself in the mirror or on screen. But now, it will be an actual 3-D figure."

Neo's figure is understood to be dressed in a blue shirt and giving two thumbs up, a pose he has struck in several media interviews previously.

Sun's wax doppelganger is holding up a microphone to a concert "audience" and listening for its response.

Sun, 36, recalls that four staff members took her measurements in a hotel ballroom in Shanghai earlier this year.

Using callipers and measuring tapes, they spent four hours measuring the 1.63m-tall star, from the length of her limbs to the distance between her eyes.

Says Sun in an e-mail: "Everything was very precise and detailed, down to the shade of the gums... even the size of the eyeballs."

Using these measurements, a team of 20 sculptors, colourists, stylists and wardrobe staff then created her figure in a studio in London.

The whole figure took four months to complete. Senior sculptor John Cormican, 53, who worked on it, says over the telephone from London: "I thoroughly enjoyed the process. Stefanie's features are so cute and impish and she has an amazing, lovely head of hair. Her hair changes in colour from the base to the tip, so it took a long time to get her hair just right."

While working on the figure, he listened to her songs for inspiration. "While I couldn't understand what she sang, I could sense the beauty in her voice and tried to capture this in her figure.

"I'm afraid I'm sounding like a super-fan."

Each figure cost about £150,000 (S$310,700) to make, according to Madame Tussauds' website.

Says Sun of her wax figure: "I think she looks rather youthful. I have a few more crow's feet in real life. But I am surprised to see the artful replication of my odd-shaped ears."

Adds her manager Wayne Cao, 40, who has seen photos of Sun's figure: "I'd say it looks more than 95 per cent like her. It especially captures her signature mega-watt smile."

When contacted, Gurmit declined to be interviewed. But Life! understands that his figure will show him dressed as Phua Chu Kang, his contractor character in the local sitcom that ran from 1996 to 2007.

Madame Tussauds Singapore - the brand's 18th attraction around the world - will open on Oct 25 at the Imbiah Lookout on Sentosa.

Other confirmed figures for the Singapore attraction include actors Amitabh Bachchan, Angelina Jolie, Audrey Hepburn, Brad Pitt, Bruce Lee, Tom Cruise, Elvis Presley, Leonardo DiCaprio, Madhuri Dixit, Marilyn Monroe and Nicole Kidman; sports personalities Yao Ming, Lewis Hamilton, Muhammad Ali, Serena Williams, Tiger Woods, Sachin Tendulkar and Sebastian Vettel; singer Madonna; and South African leader Nelson Mandela and monarch Queen Elizabeth II.


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