Barbie's Ryan Gosling On The "Hypocrisy" Of Ken Haters: "You Never Cared"
Ryan Gosling really wants you to care about Ken.
When Barbie was introduced in 1959, she was sold by herself, but her greatest accessory wouldn't hit the market until a year later: Ken. The Ken doll was something that Barbie had as a companion, friend, boyfriend, or whatever you wanted him to be. A man without an identity of his own, Ryan Gosling, who plays the main Ken in the upcoming Barbie movie really wants you to care about Ken.
"Ken...his job is beach," Gosling told GQ, explaining who Ken is to him. "For 60 years, his job has been beach. What the f--- does that even mean? 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---ed with Ken. That's the point. If you ever really cared about Ken, you would know that nobody cared about Ken. So your hypocrisy is exposed. This is why his story must be told."
Director Greta Gerwig has already said that Ken's creation is sort of a reverse Adam and Eve story in the Book of Genesis. Much like Barbie, Ken is malleable but is almost a worshipper of Barbie and everything she is. Gerwig said that she cast Gosling in the role because of a quality he has about never judging the characters. "He doesn't try and make you know that Ryan Gosling knows that this is silly. He does it in a way that takes on all of the potential humiliations of the character as his own."
So when figuring out who Ken was, Gosling looked to who he was as a kid, trying his best to be cool, but changed things up when he took the path to more dramatic roles.
"There's something about this Ken that really, I think, relates to that version of myself," he said. "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. 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." Gosling also added that kid didn't have a clue who he was, but did everything in total earnestness.
Barbie arrives exclusively in theaters July 21.
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