Salman Khan officially became a part of the New Bollywood area at Madame Tussauds Museum in London when he unveiled his wax statue there today.
Salman was chosen as the Next Bollywood Star to be part of Madame Tussauds after winning an online poll. There were over 10,000 votes cast with Salman coming out on top. Madhuri Dixit came in second and following her were Hrithik Roshan, Rani Mukerji, Karan Johar, Kajol, Lata Mangeshkar, Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra and John Abraham in that order.
Nicky Hobbs of Madame Tussauds said, “We received over 10,000 votes in the poll from fans and visitors, and were thrilled that Salman Khan came out top. The Asian market is critical to our attraction and our association with Bollywood has seen a dramatic increase in the number of domestic and overseas Asians visiting and enjoying Madame Tussauds. We hope to build upon this exciting relationship with the unveiling of Salman.”
Originally Salman had refused the honor, “Initially, when I was approached I refused it because I thought it was some kind of prank being played on me. During the making of Saawariya, there was a call from Sony International and I thought it was some kind of tie-up with the movie. Eventually, when I received a call from Tussauds I took it seriously,” he explained
Upon seeing his wax likeness Salman said, “It is absolutely fantastic!”
Adding, “The hair is thicker, no eye bags, no double chin, arms are bigger and the nose is sharper. I always wanted some competition and now I have it.”
The muscular statue, worth approximately Rs 1.62 crore (400,000USD), is dressed in a black tank top and jeans and is wearing two items that Salman donated to the museum, his favorite Harley Davidson jacket and his lucky silver bracelet.
“Very few Indians have the privilege and it feels good to be a part of it. We have Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya, Shah Rukh and I think I am the third most deserving in the museum. Even though I came in slightly later than Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Shah Rukh Khan, I still think they all are following me. After today, I don’t think there is any Bollywood actor who is worthy enough to be standing next to me in Madame Tussauds,” he said jokingly.
He added, “I think on a more serious note, Aamir Khan should have been the first one to be standing in Madame Tussauds.”
He dedicated his statue to his fans and said, “I am really very touched that my fans have chosen me to appear in Madame Tussauds, and hope that the figure brings a lot of enjoyment to Bollywood.”