This article considers how fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel interpret the character of Spike through meanings attached to actor James Marsters as a 'subcultural celebrity'. Work on TV's celebrity actors has stressed how character and actor can become semiotically blurred. Rather than approaching this blurring of textual and extra-textual connotations as an essential property of television celebrity, we analyse how Marsters displays situated agency by discursively constructing 'himself in publicity materials as 'like Spike'. We then consider Marsters as a reader of Buffy. As a subcultural celebrity, we argue that Marsters is positioned between media producers and media fans, and therefore is able to offer up privileged interpretations of 'his' character, Spike, while simultaneously observing the symbolic power of producers' preferred readings. Marsters supports certain fan readings of Spike, acting as a textual poacher who nevertheless is 'inside' the texts of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||European Journal of Cultural Studies|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 2005|