HK Magazine: What was your first encounter with a wax figure? Kitty Tang: During my second year of studies at the Academy for Performing Arts, a sculptor from Madame Tussauds came as a guest teacher. He showed us some photos of the wax figures he’d made. I was fascinated because I couldn’t tell the difference between the real humans and the wax figures! HK: Did you find it spooky at first to be surrounded by so many wax figures? KT: I did an internship at Madame Tussauds in the UK and I got to see how wax figures were made, so I was used to the figures by the time I started working in Hong Kong. But then, I would be lying if I told you I was completely fearless. HK: How do you keep the wax figures looking so good? KT: My team has to walk around the museum from 8am to 10am each day to make sure all the wax figures look perfect before the museum opens. We refer back to a reference file for each figure, which documents the information and photos showing how they are supposed to look. We usually tidy the hair since it gets messy easily, and zip the male figures’ pants up as visitors are all very curious to see what’s beneath their clothes! Some excited visitors will accidentally make scratches or cracks, especially on the figures’ hands, so we often need to do touch-ups. In fact, the figures’ hands can get so dirty that we need to change them—all figures have a spare hand. HK: Are celebrities involved in the process of making their wax figures? Do they choose their poses and costume? KT: From market research we know which celebrities are popular so we will invite them to have their figures made. If they accept, the first thing we do is arrange a time for body measurement, which takes at least two to three hours. We will also discuss the wax figures with them, so they can actually choose the poses, hairstyle and costume, and the interactive element in the setting. HK: The wax figures are made in the UK. So what else does the Hong Kong team do? KT: We need to take lots of photos for the UK team as reference, and some close-up shots of distinct features such as birthmarks and tattoos of the celebrities. We will also make sure all wax figures look as real as possible by paying attention to the minor details. For example, Yao Ming has a red bracelet and Andy Lau has a mole on his ear. If we miss these features, the figure will look less like the celebrities. HK: Which is the most popular wax figure? KT: Many people take photos with Jackie Chan. Andy Lau is also hugely popular, especially among Chinese and Taiwanese female visitors. We always have to change his white shirt because it gets covered with lipstick and lip gloss marks after a busy day. HK: What’s the weirdest thing that has happened to you in the wax museum? KT: I was doing some touch-ups during opening hours one time and suddenly I felt someone holding my leg. I looked down and saw a kid hugging me. He was mumbling “wax figure... wax figure...”. Even though I held him up and told him that I wasn’t a wax figure, he insisted I was and asked his mum to take a photo for him. It is quite surprising that he wasn’t scared since we see many children who are afraid of wax figures.