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Barbie’ is currently ruling the cinemas both critically and commercially, and is one of 2023’s biggest films so far. One of the film’s biggest highlights apart from its unique thematic approach was Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken.
Gosling’s casting was criticised heavily early on, though director Greta Gerwig defended the choice, saying that Gosling brought all the ‘Kenergy’ needed for the role.
Speaking to the SmartLess podcast, she said: “You know those actors you can… just sort of feel that they know what’s funny, and I always felt that about him.” She further said that his roles on ‘Saturday Night Live’ affected her decision.
Elaborating further, she said, “And then I’m a big fan of all of his ‘SNLs’, I always thought he was great on ‘SNL’. He did ‘Guy That Just Got a Boat’ on ‘Weekend Update’, and it’s so good.”
Gerwig also revealed that she wrote the Ken part with Gosling in mind, adding, “We wrote his name into the script and everything… and (Gosling’s name) was everywhere. And then when we handed them the script, the studio was like ‘Oh, it’s so wonderful that you know Ryan’. And I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know Ryan. I’ve never met Ryan, I have no idea’.”
While Gosling has been called the best part of the film by many, his casting was heavily criticised early on due to him being considered ‘too old’ for the role, particularly for his part as ‘Beach Ken’. But Gosling on the other hand had welcomed the role, saying that he will definitely play Ken.
As reported by People magazine, Greta was also asked about how she is dealing with the criticism from some right-wing conservatives who have called the movie ‘woke’ and too ‘preachy’, and have said they’ll burn their Barbie dolls by the New York Times. In response, Gerwig “Certainly, there’s a lot of passion.”
“My hope for the movie is that it’s an invitation for everybody to be part of the party and let go of the things that aren’t necessarily serving us as either women or men. I hope that in all of that passion, if they see it or engage with it, it can give them some of the relief that it gave other people.”
Gerwig’s optimism has paid off as ‘Barbie’ is faring extremely well, with both left and right wingers enjoying it due to its unique approach as to how Barbie leaves Barbieland and explores the complexities of the real-life modern world, exploring topics of patriarchy, capitalism, unrealistic beauty standards to appear pretty etc.
The movie has currently grossed $472 million at the global box office.