Madame Tussauds Hollywood welcomes Bollywood figures

Madame Tussauds Hollywood welcomes Bollywood figures
Wax figures of top Bollywood stars will join one of Jennifer Lopez on display at Madame Tussauds Hollywood. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

They may not be as well known as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, but the top stars of India's film industry are coming to Hollywood -- in wax form.

Madame Tussauds Hollywood will unveil five new figures Thursday in its traveling exhibit focusing on Bollywood, the Indian movie industry.

"The Hollywood location has a whole area dedicated to movies and film," said Colin Thomas, general manager of the Hollywood wax museum. "We have an eclectic mix of film stars [and] this brings a whole different set of characters to the location."

This will be the exhibit's debut on the West Coast to celebrate Bollywood's 100th anniversary, Thomas said.

Actors included in the exhibit are Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan. All are stars in the Indian movie industry and were chosen by Madame Tussauds' visitors who give suggestions for characters they would like to see.

The exhibit started traveling two years ago and will be at the Hollywood location through November. Visitors can go to the unveiling of the Bollywood figures at 11 a.m. Thursday, at a presentation that will include traditional Indian dance performance and food.

"The fact that we're in the heart of movieland, people expect to see all kinds of movie characters here," Thomas said.

Each figure costs roughly $300,000 to make. Three new ones are expected to be unveiled this year, separate from the Bollywood exhibit. These new figures will be permanent additions to the collection. Actor Ryan Reynolds will be added soon, followed by two others that have not been named, Thomas said.