Sharper, better, faster, stronger: Performing Northern masculinity and the legacy of Sean Bean’s Sharpe
The Journal of Popular Television
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Intellect via the DOI in this record.
Reason for embargo
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.
Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 239 - 251