If Ryan Gosling Didn’t Play Ken Then Barbie Wasn’t Happening

By TeeJay Small | Published

Ryan Gosling Barbie

The Barbie movie has garnered a ton of early attention from fans eagerly awaiting its release to theaters on July 21. This fan fervor has been brought on by a number of factors, including the highly interesting trailer footage, incredible set design, and perfectly cast actors Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, who capture the exact look and spirit of the Barbie and Ken characters, respectively.

In fact, the film’s director, Greta Gerwig, refused to envision any other actor in the role of Ken, insisting Ryan Gosling take the part, according to a write-up in ComicBook.com.

Barbie director Greta Gerwig only wanted Ryan Gosling for the role of Ken and would not cast anyone else in the role.

During a recent interview, Gerwig reportedly explained her stance on the film’s casting, stating that Ryan Gosling was the only actor she or Margot Robbie could see bringing Ken to life on the big screen.

This statement is a bit ironic, as there are actually multiple versions of both iconic doll characters in the film, including iterations of Barbie played by Emma Mackey, Kate McKinnon, and Dua Lipa, as well as Kens portrayed by Kingsley Ben-Adir, John Cena, and Marvel‘s Simu Liu.

Obviously, Greta Gerwig planned for Ryan Gosling’s take on Ken to lead the film alongside Barbie, making his role significantly more impactful to the overall narrative than the droves of other Kens in the film.

Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie in Barbie

Though Ryan Gosling didn’t initially see himself in the role, he agreed to sign on at Gerwig’s and Margot Robbie’s behest, who insisted that the film could not be made without his involvement.

Since the news of Ryan Gosling’s casting was first announced, some fans criticized the choice, calling the 42-year-old actor too old for the role. Despite a small amount of backlash, Gosling took on the mantle of Barbie’s plastic partner in crime happily, explaining in interviews that the screenplay for the film was one of the best he’d ever read.

Some fans thought Ryan Gosling was too old to be Ken, but after the first trailer was released, it was clear he was perfect for the part.

This makes perfect sense, as the screenplay was a collaborative effort between Gerwig and her longtime collaborator Noah Baumbach.

Baumbach previously helmed such films as 2022’s White Noise, 2019’s Marriage Story, and 2012’s Frances Ha. Frances Ha also serves as the first collaborative effort between the pair, who are also a couple, having been romantically together for over a decade now.

Ryan Gosling as Ken in Barbie

With Barbie serving as the latest in a string of collaborations between the two iconic directors, it’s no wonder Ryan Gosling thinks so highly of their work.

It’s a good thing Greta Gerwig was able to get her dream casting, as Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling prepare to bring the characters of Barbie and Ken to life, it seems as though Mattel executives are banking on the film being a massive hit.

Barbie Is The First In A Series Of Toy Movies From Mattel

Mattel reportedly has over 45 different pieces of intellectual property currently in the works to get film adaptations, making the toy company the next to fall in with the trend of constructing a massive cinematic universe like Marvel and DC.

Barbie is set to hit theaters on July 21, offering fans across the country the chance to see Ryan Gosling’s incredible leading performance.