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Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1059-440X
  • E-ISSN: 2049-6710



To account for the complex performative and cultural phenomenon of cinematic sex appeal, this article investigates Chinese actor Tony Leung Chiu-Wai Leung as a regional and global star, focusing on attributes of his acting that convey sex appeal or have been received as sexy. Leung appears as a popular star in a regional Asian context but as a more rarefied, art-cinema performer internationally. Despite this bifurcated reputation, his sex appeal provides a powerful symbolic currency bankable in local as well as global contexts. Through attention to the elusive category of sex appeal, I identify features of Leung’s acting and stardom that inform his overall career activity.


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