By Devansh Patel, Bollywood Hungama News Network
Just as you thought that the Bharat Ratna nominations controversy was about to settle, here comes another one. There’s no doubt about the fact that Bollywood is the world's biggest film industry. Also, that the world's biggest democratic country happens to be India, the domain of Bollywood! But, what is shocking, is that in spite of all this, there are only six wax figures from India in all, at the London's famous Madame Tussauds museum, of which four are Bollywood stars. Does that mean Bollywood is finally accepted in the overseas market? Or is this just a mere commercial scam? Devansh Patel unveils the story.
Ok, let's accept it now. Bollywood is the world's biggest film industry, and ever since the Shilpa Shetty - Jade fiasco happened, the name 'Bollywood' has become even more prominent. But I'm not debating whether Bollywood is big or small, known or unknown and heard or not heard. Bollywood celebrities have now become permanent visitors of the London's Madame Tussauds – Amitabh Bachchan was the first in 2000, the Bachchan daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai joined him four years later and just last year, it was Shah Rukh Khan who had his wax work installed. And the dawn of January 15, 2008, saw actor Salman Khan joining this stellar company. With Bollywood's latest entry at the wax museum, one just wonders whether there might soon be a Bollywood corner or even a whole floor for stars from the Hindi film industry at Madame Tussauds. And going by the crowds that these Bollywood stars draw, this might just be sooner than later.
But I still question myself as to why did Madame Tussauds take so long in deciding whether or not Bollywood should be a part of their museum? Well, I then think, that some questions are better left unanswered. All of the four featured stars here are famous globally. The world knows ‘him’ as the Bollywood legend, he is Amitabh Bachchan. Everyone knows ‘her’ as the most beautiful woman in the world, she is Aishwarya Rai. He is known to be the ‘King of Bollywood’ who can attract more fans than Tom Cruise can, he is Shah Rukh Khan. And lastly, his fans rate him ‘the most eligible bachelor’ in Bollywood, he is Salman Khan. There is also a point that needs to be noted here that all of the four replicas have a Hollywood connection too. Amitabh Bachchan, as we all know, was voted the ‘Superstar of the Millennium’ in a BBC poll, many years ago, leaving behind the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, etc. Do I still need to prove Mr. Bachchan's popularity around the globe? Next up is Aishwarya Rai. She won the ‘Miss World’ title in 1994 and hence, half the battle was won here itself. She further proved her mettle by being an actor in Hindi films and then there was no looking back. Currently, she has just finished filming Pink Panther in the U.S with co-stars Andy Garcia and Steve Martin! Richard Gere once said, "Shah Rukh Khan is one actor who I think can surely act in Hollywood films. He has the potential to cross over." And don't be surprised if you see him in L.A. in the near future. Last, but not the least, Salman Khan, who has acted in his first Hollywood production Marigold, is now the fourth Bollywood star to grace the Madame Tussauds, yet again, with a Hollywood connection.
Yes! In 2007, Salman Khan acted as the lead actor in his debut Hollywood production called Marigold with co-star A