Seeing double: Actor Yim Si-wan meets wax figure to debut at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong

Actor Yim Si-wan, left, poses with his wax figure that will later be exhibited at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, during a press event at ENA Suite Hotel in central Seoul on Wednesday. [MADAME TUSSAUDS HONG KONG]

Actor Yim Si-wan has indeed done it all. He started off his career as a member of the boy band ZE:A, and then started a new chapter with his versatile acting, playing roles on both the big and small screens — from the wrongly accused young activist in “The Attorney” (2013) and struggling office worker in “Misaeng: Incomplete Life” (2014) to lonely high school student in “Boyhood” (2023) and psychopathic terrorist in “Emergency Declaration" (2022).

Despite the long resume, it would be wrong to say that the actor has nothing more to show. Now, he’s Madame Tussauds Hong Kong’s latest wax figure.

The figure made its debut in Korea at the ENA Suite Hotel in Jung district, central Seoul, on Wednesday, along with the actor himself. It is Madame Tussauds’ first public event in Korea, revealing a side-by-side comparison of the wax figure and the celebrity.

“It’s like meeting a half brother for the first time,” Yim said, gazing at the wax figure beside him. “I couldn’t even look it in the eyes at first because it seemed too real; almost human.”

The wax figure dons a black vest with a white, puffy-sleeved dress shirt and black pants. It’s the same outfit that Yim wore to the 74th Cannes Film Festival in 2021, when disaster film “Emergency Declaration” premiered out of competition.

Yim is wearing it again, and he chose the outfit because it represented a “huge turning point” in his acting career.

“I had to choose one outfit for this permanent version of myself, and I wanted it to be beautiful,” he said. “My outfit for Cannes was so meaningful that I felt it would be the right choice.”

Although Yim is “more than satisfied” with the results, he said it wasn’t an easy process. He recalled standing for hours in the same pose, with his left hand in his pocket and his right palm facing up. The Madame Tussauds crew recorded every detail of the actor’s body: the color of his skin, hair, eyes and even the structure of his teeth.

“Everything was created very intricately,” Yim said. “I had to stiffen myself up like a doll. It was an interesting experience.”

Yim’s wax figure will move to the Hong Kong museum in Peak Tower later this month. It will be added to the museum’s K-Wave Zone, filled with the wax figures of other Korean celebrities like Suzy, Kim Soo-hyun, Bae Yong-joon, TVXQ! and Lee Jong-suk. Bae Yong-joon was the first Korean star to be featured in a Madame Tussauds exhibition in 2006 following his fame from the KBS melodrama “Winter Sonata” (2002).