Sharper, Better, Faster, Stronger: Performing Northern Masculinity and the Legacy of Sean Bean's Sharpe

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Abstract

This article examines the career of Sheffield-born actor Sean Bean through an analysis of his starring role in the ITV historical drama Sharpe (1993–2008). I chart the ways in which the adaptation capitalizes on Bean’s public identity as a Northern English, working-class actor, as well as providing a specific emphasis on regionality through a focus on how the characterization speaks to a popular understanding of Yorkshire, and a consideration of how Bean’s subsequent roles have engaged with Sharpe’s legacy. I posit that this performance catalyses Bean’s star persona, and offers a revealing insight into the preconceptions about Northern English identity and culture on-screen.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-251
JournalJournal of Popular Television
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016

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