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Sylvester Stallone and the Economics of the Ageing Film Actor

MCKENNA, Mark (2018) Sylvester Stallone and the Economics of the Ageing Film Actor. Celebrity Studies. ISSN 1939-2397 (In Press)

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Abstract or description

Sylvester Stallone has been widely understood as the embodiment of 1980s Hollywood action cinema and of Reagan-era masculinity’ (Gallagher, 2014:97). With the star inexorably linked to notions of youthful masculinity and an image that was crystallised more than thirty years ago, recent academic attention has been largely concerned with the ways in which age is gradually moving the star away from the idealised image that had previously defined his stardom. How he negotiates the realities of ageing, the impact this has on the roles available to him, and his ability to endure the physical requirements of these roles has been the subject of much academic interest (Tasker, 2014, Donnar, 2017). This chapter will offer an economic reading of the star and an examination of the ways in which the veteran actor has sought to, and in many cases, succeeded in extending his celebrity status in a contemporary global digital media marketplace. It will consider two aspects of Stallone’s stardom that illustrate his continued relevance on a global stage. The chapter will first consider the ways in which the star can be seen to be harnessing the power of social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to publicise new projects and to capitalise on earlier screen successes, and extend his brand into new and unexpected arenas. It will examine how what might on the surface appear to be the futile attempts of an ageing star to retain relevance in a global media marketplace, is quickly revealed to be the more complex movements of a vital and relevant star. Secondly, the chapter will examine the star’s recent economic success in the Chinese film market, and will consider how, as Hollywood is trying to make inroads into the most profitable film market in the world, the unlikely solution might come, not from big budget sci-fi extravaganzas like Star Wars, but in the form of an action star from the 1980s.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: School of Computing and Digital Technologies > Film, Media and Journalism
Depositing User: Mark MCKENNA
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2019 10:36
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2019 10:36

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