@johncusack: Are you the 'real' John Cusack? Online celebrity identity and shifting indicators of authenticity

Sarah Thomas

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The emergence of online interactive social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace have enabled a new space for celebrity identities to be circulated within the public sphere. In particular, because of Twitter’s qualities of intimacy and immediacy, and an accessibility that effectively lessens the inherent differences in cultural status between the non-star user and the celebrity user, Twitter’s interface increases the potential for a celebrity’s tweets to be interpreted as an indicator of an authentic self. However the different ways in which this ‘new authenticity’ manifests itself and develops over time through online formats also needs to be acknowledged and explored. An analysis of John Cusack’s accounts on Twitter, MySpace and Reddit reveals the complexities in seeing online authenticity as a singular construct, as the perceived authenticity of the online “John Cusack” takes different forms through Cusack’s own use of varied online personae, shifting interactive behaviours between himself and his online audience, and on different platforms. By considering this example, this paper aims to examine the historical narratives, audience responses to, and visible negotiations of public identity management that can be found within celebrity online interactions, and to suggest that Cusack illustrates how the management of online behaviour and identity on social media sites contributes to significant debates around the broader investigation of authenticity within celebrity culture.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventCelebrity Studies Conference - Royal Holloway, University of London, London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Duration: 18 Jun 201420 Jun 2014


ConferenceCelebrity Studies Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Period18 Jun 201420 Jun 2014


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