Charisma and Hollywood

From the 1910s through the end of the studio system in the 1940s studio heads and publicity departments crafted a system to manufacture and capitalize on the idea of charisma. Frequently emphasizing natural abilities, the Hollywood studio system worked tirelessly to mask bureaucratic structures and the work involved in crafting “charisma.” This chapter looks at the use of charisma as a theoretical concept in film and media studies, the relationship between charisma and the development of the star system, ultimately argues for the utility of Bensman and Givant’s notion of pseudocharisma for a way of understanding Hollywood stars.