From the release of The Hurt Locker in October 2008 through the Academy Awards ceremony in March 2010, Kathryn Bigelow and her film garnered substantial press attention. An analysis of articles appearing on Bigelow in major English-language newspapers worldwide during this period reveals her attempts to fit into the male-dominated business of film directing by distancing herself from gender issues, while simultaneously aligning herself with traditionally male-identified traits, such as toughness and the desire for control. Articles appearing during this time also routinely mention Bigelow's age and appearance, as well as her relationship with former husband and director James Cameron. Overall, Bigelow's public persona exists in a kind of no-woman's land. It includes male traits typically deemed necessary to achieve auteur status and sufficient female traits to soften her image and deflect possible accusations of gender deviancy. Working with reporters, Bigelow constructs a “girl wonder” myth using the building blocks typically employed by men seeking “boy wonder” status.

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