After all these years, the perfect plastic couple is still doing sweet things for one another.
Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie sit down for Vogue’s summer 2023 issue — which Robbie graces the cover — to discuss all things Barbie.
Gosling — who plays Ken, the boyfriend to Robbie’s Barbie in Greta Gerwig’s live-action movie — opens up about how the 32-year-old actress helped him get into character.
When asked about playing Ken, Gosling initially deflects the question, noting, “It would be very un-Ken of me to talk about Ken.”
The 42-year-old actor does discuss how Robbie helped him take on the role of Ken. “She left a pink present with a pink bow, from Barbie to Ken, every day while we were filming,” Gosling recalls. “They were all beach-related. Like puka shells, or a sign that says ‘Pray for surf.’ Because Ken’s job is just beach. I’ve never quite figured out what that means. But I felt like she was trying to help Ken understand, through these gifts that she was giving.”
Although Gosling doesn’t want to talk about Ken, Robbie has no problem discussing his performance, “The greatest version of Ryan Gosling ever put on screen,” she says.
When it comes to wanting to play Barbie and Ken, Robbie and Gosling had very different experiences. After numerous failed attempts to make a Barbie movie with both Amy Schumer and Anne Hathaway attached to the project, Robbie personally made it her mission to make the movie happen.
“The word itself is more globally recognized than practically everything else other than Coca-Cola,” she says of Barbie.
In 2018, Robbie met with the new CEO of Mattel, Ynon Kreiz, at the Polo Lounge in Los Angeles, California. During the meeting, Robbie pitched LuckyChap — the production outfit she runs with her friend, Josey McNamara and her husband, Tom Ackerley — to Mattel.
“We’re LuckyChap. This is our company. This is what we do. This is what we stand for. This is why we should be the ones to make a Barbie movie. And this is how we’d go about it. We of course would want to honor the 60-year legacy that this brand has,” Robbie says she told Mattel. “But we have to acknowledge that there are a lot of people who aren’t fans of Barbie. And in fact, aren’t just indifferent to Barbie. They actively hate Barbie. And have a real issue with Barbie. We need to find a way to acknowledge that.”
After many meetings between Mattel and Warner Bros., the possibility of a movie became a reality. Robbie then started talking to Gerwig about writing and directing. “I was very scared it was going to be a no,” Robbie says. “At the time this was such a terrifying thing to take on. People were like, ‘You’re going to do what?'”
But Gerwig said yes on the condition that she could write the script with her partner, filmmaker Noah Baumbach. “It felt sparky to me in some way that felt kind of promising,” Gerwig tells Vogue. “I was the one who said, ‘Noah and I will do this.'”
Gosling on the other hand had a completely different experience, “Ken wasn’t really on my bucket list. But in fairness, I don’t have a bucket list. So I thought I’d give it a shot.”
Robbie is no stranger to creating her own path and taking risks. Vogue mentions how for her The Wolf of Wall Street audition she went off script and slapped Leonardo DiCaprio across the face. She had never met Quentin Tarantino when she wrote to him to say how much she wanted to work with him, and soon after, she was playing Sharon Tate in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. And when she shot a certain scene in Babylon, she went off script again and kissed Brad Pitt.
“She has a kind of fearlessness that you can only get from literally growing up swimming in shark-infested waters,” says Gosling of the Australian actress.
Last month, the co-stars stepped out to promote their upcoming film at CinemaCon and both dressed for the occasion. Robbie and Gosling donned pink for the Las Vegas outing, with the former in a pale pink skirt and crop top set, and the latter rocking a hot pink jacket, which he wore over a T-shirt that read, “From Director Greta Gerwig.”
At the event, Gosling discussed how he got into character to play Ken.
“I have to be honest. Up until this point I only knew Ken from afar. I didn’t know Ken from within,” he said. “If I’m being honest, I doubted my Ken-ergy. I didn’t see it. But Margot and Greta conjured this out of me.”
Robbie and Gosling star in Barbie alongside America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Issa Rae, Kate McKinnon, Michael Cera, Emma Mackey, Ncuti Gatwa, Emerald Fennell, Alexandra Shipp, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Hari Nef, Ariana Greenblatt, Sharon Rooney, Scott Evans, Rhea Pearlman and Will Ferrell.
Little is known about the plot of the film, and the cast has stayed tightlipped about what fans can expect.
“I can’t tell you anything,” Robbie told ET in September. “All I can say is, you’re gonna like it!”
Barbie will hit theaters on July 21.
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