A behind-the-scenes look at Las Vegas’ Madame Tussauds


I don’t know about you, but when I see a celebrity I get giddy and giggle like a schoolgirl. When I visited the world-famous Madame Tussauds Interactive Wax Attraction at the Venetian, I found myself acting the same way.

Believe me when I say these wax figures are legit. When I posted on Facebook a picture of me sitting next to Will Smith’s figure, a lot of my friends thought I actually met him. Little do they know is that they could come here and do the same thing!

In order for the figures to appear so lifelike, the creators go through a vigorous process. “It takes between four and six months to make a wax figure,” said studio artist DP Shapiro at the Las Vegas location. “[We] try and have a sitting with the celebrity. We take over 300 photographs [and] do over 200 measurements. Once we figure out a pose, we go from there.”

Kim Schrader, head painter at the Las Vegas wax attraction, said it takes about 50 hours to paint a full head.

“We start from the bare wax and then paint in subtle layers,” she said. “There’s no makeup on any of the figures, it’s just all oil paints.”

Shapiro is in charge of all of the hair and wardrobe at the Las Vegas location. Each morning, he walks through the attraction and checks if any clothes need washing or hair needs primping.

Fans of the wax replicas have gone a little crazy with the hair on the figures. In fact, past visitors braided Lindsay Lohan’s hair into pigtails and even did dreadlocks on the Benjamin Franklin.

“Another typical damage we have is lipstick,” said Schrader. “So a lot of the guys get kissed!”

With wax figures like Matthew McConaughey, Bradley Cooper, Justin Timberlake, Brad Pitt and George Clooney, it’s no surprise ladies would leave their mark. One of my personal favorite figures in the museum is Tupac. But instead of leaving lipstick marks, I flash up my “west side” sign and copy his look. Thug life!

If you have a favorite celebrity you don’t see here, there’s hope. “We actually ask our guests who they would like to see [and] have a survey at the end of their visit,” said Rosita Chapman, general manager at Madame Tussauds at the Venetian.

With more than 100 wax replicas at Madame Tussauds, we’re sure you’ll already see a handful of your favorites. And even if you’re not in Vegas, there are locations worldwide including Amsterdam, London, New York, Hollywood, Atlanta, Sydney and Hong Kong, to name a few.


Most folks take their Vegas jackpot winnings back home, but my dad decided to stay here instead. That’s how I left Seattle almost 20 years ago. I moved from greenery and rainy days to hot summers, palm trees and desert. As much as I love my hometown, I decided to stick around Vegas. This city just has so much to offer. You don’t even have to be a gambler, bar hopper or an all-night partier. I love Vegas for its awesome vegan-friendly spots, concerts, swanky hotel suites and spas so big, they’re like castles. The pool scene is not too shabby either, which is why I love taking stay-cations. Besides living it up -- Vegas style -- I’m hanging out with my handsome hubby, adorable baby girl, two cats and super-fluffy Shih-Tzu. I’m also a huge fan of '90s music, shows and movies. You can find me on Google+ and Twitter.