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  • Notorious B.I.G. Immortalized In Wax

    NEW YORK — Even in death, the Notorious B.I.G. remains the illest.
    The larger-than-life rap icon was honored Thursday morning (October 25) at Manhattan's Madame Tussauds wax museum with his very own statue. As the figure was unveiled, the Brooklyn High School for the Arts choir sang Diddy's hit "I'll Be Missing You" and Biggie's mother, Voletta Wallace, and former manager, Wayne Barrow, beamed for cameras. "Looking at the statue, I have a mixed feeling," Wallace told MTV News after the ceremony. "A little sad, a little happy. It's incredibly accurate. [But] I'm a little emotional, 'cause I feel that that statue over there looks very much like my son. I wish it was real; I wish it was breathing. As a mother, I'm extremely emotional. But at the same time I'm happy that Madame Tussauds has honored him and made a statue for the world to see."

    According to a museum representative, the hulking statue is the largest figure currently on display at the New York site. Decked out in a white suit, white fedora topped with a cream ribbon, and matching shoes, the figure presents Biggie in all of his "Black Frank White" glory. Wallace said she and a team of reps from the museum weeded through a number of photos until they settled on this image of the Brooklyn don.

    "It's crazy, because it's hard to look [at the statue]," Barrow said. "I'm turning back, like, 'Damn, is he there?' "
    Soon, the wax figure won't be the only work of art bringing the Notorious B.I.G. back to life. At the event, both Wallace and Barrow were able to give MTV News the latest on the much-talked-about biopic in pre-development with Fox Searchlight.
    For the record: Sean Kingston will not star. Barrow acknowledged that Kingston had auditioned for the part, as did Beanie Sigel. But the former manager insisted that an unknown should be cast as the lead to be able to represent the rapper's legacy and simultaneously launch his own career from the performance.

    Wallace said the casting for the role is down to a "final four." Although she admitted to having a favorite, she said no decision has been made yet.

    "The representation of Christopher Wallace is very hard to find," Barrow said. "It's a combination of things. One is the element of the man — his heart condition, his swagger — and beyond that, you have to be able to act. You're not coming in there to play this man; you're coming in to portray him. It's totally different. So you have to bring your own sensibility of who you are to the table and your own sense of swagger and put that on the big screen in the way that Christopher Wallace would."

    No timetable has been set to begin shooting the film, so there hasn't been a rush to pick the lead actor just yet. But if that process is proving to wear on those involved, it didn't show on Wallace's face. Biggie's mother was in good spirits and joked about what her son would say if he were there to see himself in wax.
    "If Christopher would look at this today," she said, "oh, God, with his sense of humor, he'd say, 'If you don't know, now you know.' Or something like that."
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