“Barbie” star Ryan Gosling reveals why he heavily relates to Ken

Jun 1 2023, 11:00 am

If you’ve logged on to the internet lately, chances are you’ve seen promotional photos of the upcoming Mattel film, Barbie, starring Canada’s own Ryan Gosling. His hair is beach-blonde and he’s dressed in various pink ensembles, perfectly encapsulating the ongoing “himbo” trend.

In a GQ interview on Wednesday, Gosling got very real about playing Ken to Margot Robbie’s Barbie. While Robbie and Gosling are the primary Barbie and Ken, the film stars many other Barbies and Kens, including Torontonian actor Simu Liu.

After Gosling’s casting as Ken was announced, social media erupted in joy and criticism. Some thought he, now 42, was too mature to play a role so youthful.

And to be fair, that criticism hasn’t stopped rolling in.

But the Crazy, Stupid, Love star feels like a better fit for Ken than you might think. Writer Zach Baron sat down with Gosling, who spilled the beans on how he feels about Ken’s history as a Mattel character, his role, and Barbie in general.

In the interview held on a train ride, Gosling told GQ that he saw his daughters playing with the dolls and noticed that their Ken doll was face down in the mud, right next to a squished lemon, and thought, “This guy’s story does need to be told, you know?”

“He would like Barbie more than The Believer, you know?” said Ryan, referring to the child version of himself, pushing to be a star against the odds. “There’s something about this Ken that, I think, relates to that version of myself. Just, like, the guy that was putting on Hammer pants and dancing at the mall and smelling like Drakkar Noir and Aqua Net-ing bangs. I owe that kid a lot,” he said.

“I feel like I was very quick to distance myself from him when I started making more serious films. But the reality is that, like, he’s the reason I have everything I have. He didn’t know what he was doing or why he was doing it, he was just doing it, and it’s like, I owe my whole life to him. And I wish I had been more grateful at the time, you know?”

As far as the public response to the ageist criticism of his role goes, Gosling is pretty blunt: “If people don’t want to play with my Ken, there are many other Kens to play with.”

He called out people discussing the casting choice for never really having an opinion about Ken before the movie came about.

“Like you ever thought about Ken before this? [Ken’s] job is beach. For 60 years, his job has been beach. What the f*ck does that even mean?” he asked. “And everyone was fine with that, for him to have a job that is nothing. But suddenly, it’s like, ‘No, we’ve cared about Ken this whole time.’ No, you didn’t. You never did. You never cared. Barbie never f*cked with Ken. That’s the point.”

Gosling doubled down, telling audiences that if they ever really cared about Ken, they would know that nobody cared about Ken. “So your hypocrisy is exposed. This is why his story must be told.”

“I care about this dude now. I’m like his representative. ‘Ken couldn’t show up to receive this award, so I’m here to accept it for him,'” he declared.

So, we ask our readers: Did you ever care about Ken before Gosling was Ken? How do you feel about him now?

The interview evoked a previously absent sense of empathy for Ken. If you aren’t Barbie — the legend, the icon, the diva herself — life in plastic might not be all that fantastic. Unless, of course, you have Gosling and Liu to flip the script and give you a fresh and fun perspective.

National Trending StaffNational Trending Staff

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