A Night at the Wax Museum with
by Jay S. Jacobs
On the night of November 30-December 1 2009, the world-famous Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum on 42nd Street in New York had a rather unique promotional opportunity to share with 50 children and their parents. To promote a new exhibit inspired by the DVD release of the Ben Stiller sequel Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, the families became the first people ever allowed to sleep over in the museum.
And, no, sorry, the exhibits did not come to life late at night.
However, despite that, the families had a good time. Activities included a scavenger hunt in the museum, a demonstration on how the wax exhibits are made and a screening of the new movie a day before it was released to stores. Then, in the morning, Night at the Museum stars Mizuo Peck (who played Sacajawea in both films) and Crystal the monkey introduced the new exhibit – which featured wax figurines of Abraham Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, Napoleon and Albert Einstein.
“I think that they already had an existing Amelia Earhart and Lincoln and Albert Einstein, so I think they just thought it was a really great idea to integrate the two,” says Peck at the exhibit. “Which I’m really excited about, because the films Night at the Museum and Battle of the Smithsonian – it seemed to just get kids all excited about all these historical figures. Any way to make education fun, right? I’m excited to have all this out there.”
Also thrilling was the overnight sleepover – which Peck did not participate in, but thought sounded like great fun.
“Everyone slept over,” Peck nods. “I think that’s really cute. I know that when the first movie came out, they slept over at the Natural History Museum, which has always been like an amazing fantasy to be able to do something like that. So I think it’s incredible that kids get to do fun stuff.
The promotion also gave Peck a chance to work again with her little co-star, Crystal the Capuchin monkey.
“Crystal is an amazing little actress-slash-monkey. She’s amazing. She’s so trained and so cute. Honestly, before this, I had never interacted with a monkey before. So, it was really… I mean everything about being an actress in the movie was such an amazing experience, a learning experience. To be able to hang out with wild animals was really great, too,” Peck laughs.
As a local woman – (“Based out of New York,” Peck states. “Born and raised in New York, which I’m very proud of.”) – Peck did have to admit this was the first time that she had been to Madame Tussaud’s.
“I’ve never been here,” Peck says. “I was just saying to somebody else that being raised in New York, you don’t always do things like go to the Empire State Building or Statue of Liberty – although I have been to both of those.”
She had – however – visited the Natural History Museum even before working on the two films which were based there.
“Of course, I’ve been to the Natural History Museum, yes. That’s sort of a staple for New York life,” Peck chuckles.
As an actress, Peck is now best known for playing the Indian Sacajawea, though she says at the time she got the role she didn’t know that much about the historical figure for whom she would become known.
“Not as much as I do now,” Peck laughs. “I did a ton of research. Watched all sorts of DVDs. Now I feel like I could teach classes on the Lewis and Clark expedition. But, no, beforehand I really didn’t know too much about her.”
So it may or may not be fate that she got the role. Peck’s explanation of it is a little more pragmatic – as borne from years in show biz.
“I was just a New York actress going on a bunch of auditions and this one finally just worked out,” Peck laughs. Still, she keeps building on the buzz which has come to her from the Night in a Museum films.
“I’ve been doing some independent projects – actually working on a script of my own. As far as anything that would compare to this giant blockbuster, not yet,” she laughs.
In the meantime, Peck is thrilled that the second film is out on DVD and that it is being memorialized at the wax museum.
“This is one of the first giant jobs that I’ve done where people all over the world have seen it, Peck says. “They know what I’m talking about when I go, ‘Hey, I’m in this movie.’ They’ve actually seen it on planes and in Japan and all over the place. It’s incredible.”
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Copyright ©2009 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: December 4, 2009.