‘Know Your Role’: Dwayne Johnson & the Performance of Contemporary Stardom

Ward, Daniel (2019) ‘Know Your Role’: Dwayne Johnson & the Performance of Contemporary Stardom. Celebrity Studies, 10. pp. 479-488. ISSN 1939-2397

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Abstract

Contemporary film stardom is an intensely intertextual phenomenon, articulated not only through the range of social media platforms available to celebrities and their marketing teams, but also through the increasingly synergistic bodies of work of the modern Hollywood star. More than this, the modern star image is a performance, one which is in constant process of construction and negotiation. In this article, I explore how these factors intersect in the star persona of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Drawing on a framework of literature dealing with celebrity, social media and professional wrestling, I contend that not only is Johnson’s remarkable crossover success in the film industry connected to his mastery of social media self-presentation, but also that this must be examined in the context of his background in the unique performative environment of professional wrestling. Using examples from Johnson’s wrestling career and instructive exemplars of his employment of social media, I argue that Johnson’s grounding in the unique wrestling practice of kayfabe has informed his engagement with the malleable public-private terrain of social media.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Media > Film
Media > Media and Cultural Studies
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries
Depositing User: Daniel Ward
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2019 16:10
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2020 15:17
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/10486

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