Does Age Matter? Aging Masculinities in the Spanish Audiovisual Industry

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The Spanish star system is witnessing the aging of its most acclaimed and awarded male actors from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and the first two decades of the 21st century: male actors belonging to the silent generation like José Sacristán (86), Emilio Gutiérrez Caba (81), Miguel Rellán (80), José María Pou (78), and Eusebio Poncela (76); actors belonging to the baby boomers such as Antonio Resines (69), Imanol Arias (67), José Coronado (66), Antonio Banderas (63), and Juan Echanove (62), to mention a few. Likewise, out of the 48 million people in Spain, 34.1% are individuals over 55, representing an important segment of Spanish society. Therefore, the aging of the star system mirrors the aging of Spanish moviegoers and TV spectators. Long-lasting TV series such as Cuéntame cómo pasó underscore the identification created across the years of the series between character, actor and viewer, and how they all experience and live time.
This article also examines how aging Spanish male actors play, on the one hand, leading or secondary roles that do not deviate from the fit, tough, attractive, and sexually active profile often associated with the successful aging narrative in the American audiovisual industry of the geriaction subgenre, although in some instances they experience some sort of feminization attributed to aging, as is the case of the TV series Entrevías (2022) and El Príncipe (2014-2017). In these representations, the new roles assumed by aging masculinities when addressing social and family issues, ranging from the materiality of the body to moral obligations, are explored. On the other hand, series like Sentimos las molestias (Spain 2022) follow the path opened by The Kominsky Method (US 2018) by portraying aging as decline through the wide use of stereotypes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-61
Number of pages13
JournalRomance Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

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  • ageing
  • masculinity studies
  • Spanish audiovisual industry
  • Spanish TV series
  • Spanish film
  • Aging
  • geriaction
  • masculinity


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