Body doubles
The performance of Basqueness by Carmelo Gómez and Silvia Munt
in Performance and Spanish film
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This chapter examines the re-construction of regional and national identities through acting. In doing so, it dissects the performances of Carmelo Gómez and Silvia Munt, two actors made famous for their multiple and iconic Basque roles. By closely examining their performances, the chapter argues that the actors’ false identities articulate a Basqueness that is at once desirable and desiring, fraught with unattainability; that is, the creation of Basque archetypes by non-Basque actors may ultimately render nonexistent whatever potential promise or threat they contain. Going against the presumption that an actor may be able to breach the gap between his or her personal identity and that of the character, the chapter argues instead that their performances will always be inauthentic, that audiences assume this fact, and that this shades cinematic acting in very important ways.

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