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Ready for Your Close-Up? Polyvalent Identity and the Hollywood Headshot


  • Scott Frank


Headshots are commercial portraits that are arguably the currency of the actor's trade in the Hollywood entertainment industry. But as with all cultural artifacts, a single object can be subject to multiple interpretations by the constituencies that make use of it. This article utilizes a polyvalent interpretation to examine the ways in which actors, photographers, and casting agents all subscribe to the same denotation of these objects, while retaining a significant difference in their valuation.

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