The New Hollywood: 1981-1999

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapter


This chapter focuses on three key modes of performance – excess, transformation and the ensemble – that characterised both the films and acting of the 1981-1999 period. Firstly, the concept of ‘excess’ allows an exploration of exaggerated, histrionic performances, the mechanical acting and ‘musculinity’ of hard body action heroes and heroines and the performances of addiction and obsession that littered the period. ‘Transformation’ brings together the ‘body swap’, dual performance, body mutation, gender alteration, the Cinderella makeover and physical and mental adaption. Finally, the ensemble offers a rich space to showcase a variety of actors and acting styles, bringing together excess and transformation in their engagement with social and cultural concerns of the period.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationActing
Subtitle of host publicationBehind the Silver Screen
EditorsClaudia Springer, Julie Levinson
Place of PublicationNew Brunswick, New Jersey
PublisherRutgers University Press
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9780813564326
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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    Peberdy, D. (2015). The New Hollywood: 1981-1999. In C. Springer, & J. Levinson (Eds.), Acting: Behind the Silver Screen (pp. 120-142). Rutgers University Press.