True bromance: the authenticity behind the Stewart/McKellen relationship

Jackie Raphael, Celia Lam

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


For public figures with high-profile roles, media interest in professional pursuits is a regular occurrence. When media attention turns from the public role to the private lives of public figures, suggests Graeme Turner, is the moment when a public figure becomes a celebrity. Specially, Richard Dyer suggests, interest in the private lives of celebrities is grounded in the notion that in the private resides the authentic person behind the ‘manufactured mask of fame’. The increasing popularity of social media, and celebrity figures’ use of such intimate platforms of performance, gives rise to a system of representation P. David Marshall terms ‘presentational culture’. A seemingly genuine persona is presented to the public, yet it is one that nonetheless attracts questions of authenticity, especially when that presentation coincides with promotional activities. This article examines the authenticity of the bromance between Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart through the lens of their social media presence. The article explores the narrative of friendship constructed by the actors, and evaluates how their history as friends and recent promotional activity for the film X-Men Days of Future Past and the plays Waiting for Godot and No Man’s Land influence the perceived authenticity of their bromance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-173
Number of pages21
JournalCelebrity Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019


  • Bromance
  • authenticity
  • celebrity culture
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies


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