No of pages: 368
Other Editions: Hardback
For almost fifty years, men around the world have been measuring themselves against our age’s definition of masculinity: Sean Connery. An unschooled no-hoper from the tenements of Edinburgh, Connery has taught generations of admirers how to present themselves to the world.
His portrayal of secret agent James Bond invigorated Britain and its cinema, allowing a cash-strapped, morale-sapped country in decline to fancy itself still a player on the world stage. But while Bond would make Connery the first actor to command a million dollar-plus fee, the man himself was forever pouring scorn on the fantasies audiences found it increasingly hard to separate him from.
Undaunted, Connery quit the Bond beat, going on to prove himself one of cinema’s most relaxed and assured stars and a guaranteed box-office draw. Moulding and remoulding his image to fit the contours of the age, Connery has gone from Sadeian sixties sex symbol to the sagacious magus figure to which today’s young stars are forever turning.
But what did it do to a humble Scots lad to become a figure of universal desire? How did a former coffin-polisher-cum-milkman handle being ‘the man every man wants to be and every woman wants between her sheets’? How can such worship not play havoc with one’s soul - especially a soul as painfully unprepared for the pressures of stardom as Connery’s?
Spirited, argumentative and sardonically celebratory, Christopher Bray’s Sean Connery is both a biography of a star and an investigation of what can happen to a man when the images he creates take over his life. It’s the story of an actor learning his craft on the job, of a man pressing his stardom into the service of his burgeoning political awareness. And it’s an analysis of what it means to be star-struck - a critical tribute to a secular icon who has shaped so many dreams.
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