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Ryan Gosling Says He Doubted His “Ken-ergy” Before Signing On For Greta Gerwig’s ‘Barbie’



Barbie made a cameo in Sin City.

Greta Gerwig’s Barbie starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling touched down inside Caesars Palace in Las Vegas during Warner Bros.’ CinemaCon presentation on Tuesday morning. The studio welcomed Gerwig, Robbie and Gosling to the Colosseum stage along with co-star America Ferrera to chat up the Mattel project and debut several minutes of never-before-seen scenes. The newest footage comes on the heels of a trailer and character posters that were revealed earlier this month.

The foursome were interviewed briefly on stage by Warner Bros. chiefs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy. Gerwig revealed more about how she came to write and direct the film by explaining that it was Robbie who “invited me on this journey,” one that she took as co-writer with her real-life partner Noah Baumbach. “When I was writing with Noah, there was a point when we were making each other laugh all the time and when it ended, we were making each other cry.”

There was a moment in the early creative process when Baumbach wanted to direct the film himself but Gerwig said that she told him to “step aside, this is mine.” She continued: “There’s a point I was so in love with it that I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing it.” Speaking of, she said during the writing process, they cast Gosling, someone she had never met but she put his name in the script and “luckily he said yes.”

Wearing a blush pink coat, Gosling got the most laughs from the capacity crowd seated during the presentation and it started when De Luca asked how the actor was able to channel his inner Ken. “I have to be honest, I had up until this point, I only knew Ken from afar. I didn’t know Ken from within,” the actor explained. “If I’m being really honest, I doubted my Ken-ergy. I didn’t see it. Margot and Greta, I feel like they conjured this out of me somewhere.”

Gosling said that he was living his life and then “one day, I was bleaching my hair and shaving my legs and wearing bespoke neon outfits and rollerblading down Venice Beach. It came on like a fever, like a Scarlet fever.” Like, “why is there fake tanner on my sheets? Why am I wearing jackets without shirts? What just happened.” Even De Luca had to pause after Gosling’s remarks and give him some praise. “Best answer,” he said.

Gerwig introduced the never-before-seen footage that offered more details on the Barbie storyline. Robbie’s title character is seemingly going about her technicolor life until strange things start happening, like cold showers and burnt waffles and then the ultimate ailment — flat feet. Her fellow Barbies suggest she go and see “weird Barbie,” played by Kate McKinnon who offers two options, to go back to her regular Barbie life or real-life as displayed by a stiletto or a Birkenstock.

Barbie then sets off on a journey to the real world and is surprised by Ken who joins her in the backseat of the convertible to the tune of Indigo Girls’ “Closer to Fine.”

Barbie casts Robbie as the title character and Gosling as Ken. Warner Bros. teases the plot like this: “To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you’re a Ken.” The film features a supporting cast that includes America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Michael Cera, Ariana Greenblatt, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman, Will Ferrell, Ana Cruz Kayne, Emma Mackey, Hari Nef, Alexandra Shipp, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Simu Liu, Ncuti Gatwa, Scott Evans, Jamie Demetriou, Connor Swindells, Sharon Rooney, Nicola Coughlan, Ritu Arya, Dua Lipa and Helen Mirren.

Warner Bros. Pictures — presenting a Heyday Films production, a LuckyChap Entertainment production and a Mattel Production — will release the film exclusively in theaters nationwide on July 21, with an international rollout beginning days earlier on July 19. Gerwig directed Barbie from a screenplay she wrote with her real-life partner Noah Baumbach based on the original Barbie creation from Mattel.

The film’s producing team includes David Heyman, Robbie, Tom Ackerley and Robbie Brenner. Michael Sharp, Josey McNamara, Ynon Kreiz, Courtenay Valenti, Toby Emmerich and Cate Adams received executive producer credits.

Gerwig’s creative team includes Oscar-nominated director of photography Rodrigo Prieto (The Irishman), production designer Sarah Greenwood (Beauty and the Beast), editor Nick Houy (Little Women), costume designer Jacqueline Durran (Little Women), visual effects supervisor Glen Pratt (Paddington 2), music supervisor George Drakoulias (White Noise) and composer Alexandre Desplat (The Shape of Water).

Warner Bros. kicked off its presentation with welcome remarks by distribution chiefs Jeff Goldstein and Andrew Cripps who were decked out in hot pink suits with ties and sneakers to match. They took the stage as Aqua’s iconic hit song “Barbie World” blasted in the Colosseum. “As a show of hands, who wore it better, Andrew or me?” asked Goldstein, who also noted what a special year it is for Warners as it toasts its 100th anniversary. “As Barbie always says, ‘Everybody always looks better in pink. Hey, it’s Vegas, baby. We’re both tickled pink.”

Warner Bros. Discovery chief David Zaslav even talked about the film during his opening remarks, praising star and producer Margot Robbie as “brilliant, an incredible actress and entrepreneur.” He saved kind words for Gerwig, who he said is “one of the great writers and directors of her generation” by any measure. He said the Barbie team also includes David Heyman who has done 30 films for Warners. “Great team for you,” he said.

CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Association of Theater Owners, is being held inside Caesars Palace in Las Vegas from April 24-27.

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