On Wednesday, Madame Tussauds Washington, the museum that features all your favorite famous folk as life-size mannequins, revealed its wax rendering of the country’s 45th president, Donald Trump.
At 6-feet-3, the 70-year-old has been molded into an imposing figure in the museum’s miniature Oval Office. Dressed in his typical navy power suit and fiery red tie, a very no-nonsense-looking Trump is positioned beside the presidential podium in an unmistakable power stance (legs wide, hands gripping his black leather belt like a foreman ready to roll up his sleeves).
And about those hands? They’re normal-sized, in case you were wondering.
“Everyone’s pretty amazed at how lifelike he is and how accurate his features are, you know his hair and his coloring,” said Therese Alvich, the general manager at the museum’s outpost in Washington, which along with London, New York and Orlando, Florida, unveiled the presidential version of Trump.
The former “Apprentice” boss first sat for one of Tussauds famous wax figures in the late ’90s. One of the museum’s studio artists met the real estate developer at Trump Tower in New York and took more than 200 measurements (including the hands), according to Alvich. Trump was apparently pleased with the final product, but no word on what he thinks about the newly elected version.
The biggest difference between Trump and the guy he bumped down the line? That look.
“His facial expression is a little bit more serious,” admitted Alvich, who said that the smiling figure of President Barack Obama is by far the museum’s most popular. “But what we tried to do with the new figure is catch his personality. This is Trump. He is confidant, he’s authoritative and that’s how he looks.”
Another glaring distinction between 45 and 44? The future first lady isn’t in the picture – yet.
Michelle Obama and her husband appear together in the museum’s presidents gallery, as does Hillary Clinton, Nancy Reagan and Jackie Kennedy. But Melania Trump, who was a rare sighting on her husband’s campaign trail, is a no show. What gives?
Whether Mrs. Trump makes the mold someday depends on the public, said Alvich, because the museum takes suggestions from its visitors. “Or if she becomes a really important part of history,” she added.
In the meantime, anyone with about $20 to burn can snag a photo with the next president of the United States. And those photos should be appropriate, mind you.
“We’re hoping for the best. For the most part people are respectful,” said Alvich, who maintained that the museum is “apolitical” – its all educational after all.
Most of Tussauds Washington visitors are school groups and foreign tourists. ”
This is the home of the president’s gallery so we have all of the presidents and he is our president.”
Also there’s a staff member just a stone’s throw from the new president at all times. “He’s dressed as a Secret Service agent.”
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Helena Andrews-Dyer