Madame Tussaud to figure in biopic

Kevin Rawlinson
Friday 18 February 2011 12:14

The life of Marie Tussaud, who founded the string of museums which bear her name, is to be the subject of a film.

She was the sculptor who has become best known for her waxwork gallery. Tussaud, though, was also heavily involved in the French Revolution, a tutor to royalty who briefly lived in one of Europe’s grandest palaces and the artistwho made death masks for victims of the guillotine. In fact, she very nearly shared their fate.

Madame T,which will be produced by Stephane Sperry, follows the life of Tussaud – née Grosholtz – from her birth in Strasbourg through her move to Paris, where she first became interested in waxworks under the tutelage of her boss, Dr Philippe Curtius, to her later life in London, where she died having founded what has become one of the most recognisable attractions in the world. It will tell how she became involved in the French Revolution through Dr Curtius, a member of the mob which stormed the Bastille on 14 July 1789.

It will also tell how she was made to create death masks for King Louis XVI and his wife, Queen Marie Antoinette, work which forced her to search through piles of dead bodies to recover the heads. The film will also tell how her own was shaved in preparation to be severed by the guillotine before she was given a late reprieve.

Tussaud married in 1795 but, seven years later during the Napoleonic Wars, she fled to France’s deadly enemy, England, leaving her husband behind, never to see him again. But it was where she found her fame, touring the country exhibiting her work. The search for a director is on and the project has no start date set. Sperry will produce the film through his Liaison Films along with Ledoux and Double Entente Films.

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