Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling Discuss How Much His Ken ‘Bits’ Changed the Barbie Movie

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Both Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling were featured in W magazine’s Best Performances portfolio. In their interviews, the Barbie stars revealed just how much of an impact Ryan had on how Ken appeared in the film.

Ryan told W that Ken was the hardest character he ever played. His first impression of the character came from “the title page of the script, which said ‘Barbie and Ken,’ but ‘and Ken’ was scratched out,” he recalled. “And the next impression was, this is the hardest part I’ll ever play. How do you approach playing a 70-year-old crotchless doll? There’s no research you can do for that. There’s no one you can shadow, no documentaries you can watch, no books written about Ken. You’re on your own.”

Margot shared that Ryan added a lot to the role, and some of those improvised bits became the movie’s most comedic moments. “Ryan always had these tricks up his sleeve, all these bits he was going to do,” she said. “He’d catch me off guard with them. The double sunglasses thing [when Ken wears two pairs of sunglasses for ‘boys’ night’] was his idea. That was just on a random take, and it made the cut of the movie. And yelling out ‘Sublime!’ at a certain moment. It was like I was always getting a front-row seat to being entertained.”

In the joint interview, Ryan spoke about something he brought to his first scene with Margot, something she didn’t remember at first. The scene was with “the boat—when Barbie and Ken travel to the real world,” Ryan said. “I brought a prop seagull to set. I asked somebody to puppeteer it in the shot, and I didn’t tell Margot. Ninety percent of the actors I’ve worked with would go [very sarcastically], ‘You brought a seagull. Great.’ But Margot was open to the seagull puppetry.”

He also told W and Margot that he would be happy to perform “I’m Just Ken” at the Oscars. (Your move, Academy.) “I wasn’t thinking about it until now, and now it’s all I’m going to think about,” he said. “Do you get paid to sing at the Oscars? Do you have to drive yourself? What kind of scratch is involved? They pick you up at least, right?”

Later, when asked about his go-to karaoke song, he joked, “I don’t have one. I only sing at the Oscars….Oh no, wait, I don’t.”

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Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.

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