Adapting Coriolanus: Tom Hiddleston’s Body and Action Cinema
Despite a critical movement seen across the humanities described as the ‘corporeal turn’ (Elam 143) in Shakespeare studies alone, adaptation studies has been slow to situate the body as a site of major interpretive possibility. A constituent part of textual readings the body has, nonetheless, rarely been regarded as an adaptive site in and of itself; instead, it is viewed as a participant in the process of adaptation. The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, to demonstrate the validity of an actor-based approach to adaptation and secondly to further the call made by Deborah Cartmell and Imelda Whelehan amongst others to ascend the ‘aporias of fidelity’ by working to an intertextual or dialogical model (Cartmell and Whelehan 73). I thereby wish to explore Josie Rourke’s theatrical production of Coriolanus and the importance of her lead Tom Hiddleston’s body as a source of meaning, doing this through examining inter-related but frequently disparate fields such as star-theory and popular culture studies, as well as considering the qualities independently brought by the actor to character through physicality and intertextuality within the adaptive process. Through the presentation of Hiddleston’s body and its function as an adaptive site, we are thus able to view Rourke’s interaction with the visual culture of contemporary action cinema and the resonances this creates physically and thematically for Coriolanus’s depiction of the soldier-hero.
Citation : Blackwell, A. (2014) Adapting Coriolanus: Tom Hiddleston’s Body and Action Cinema. Adaptation, 7 (3), pp. 344-352
Research Group : Centre for Adaptations
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- School of Humanities