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Secret Invasion's Kingsley Ben-Adir Explains How Gravik Inspired His Barbie Character

Kingsley Ben-Adir is the MCU's newest villain on Secret Invasion. However, soon you'll see him as just another Ken in Barbie.


When you take on the role of a villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, chances are you already realize that your profile is about to be on the rise. After all, anytime a new Marvel show or movie arrives, the villain is front and center, ready to be hated. With Secret Invasion, though, Kingsley Ben-Adir is in a unique situation as Gravik. That situation is pink, happy, and living somewhere in Barbie's dreamhouse.

See, Ben-Adir, isn't only a newcomer to the MCU, but this summer he also appears in Barbie as none other than Ken--well, one of them anyway.

While sitting down with the actor to discuss Secret Invasion, GameSpot couldn't help but wonder what his villainous Skrull character has in common with his particular version of Ken. The answer won't surprise you, but the reasoning behind it might.

"Absolutely nothing," Ben-Adir said plainly, before admitting how close together the two projects were filmed and how one character influenced the other.

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"I think going on to Barbie straight after this, a lot of the choices that I made or spoke to Greta about before I made, were trying to make [Ken] the complete opposite [of Gravik] in a way," he explained. "I don't think it's giving too much away to say that the Ken that I play is like the seven-year-old boy who doesn't like violence, loves everyone... he's a child. And I think Gravik is a sociopath."

Of course, given the lengths we've seen Gravik go to in the first two episodes of Secret Invasion, that's not a massive surprise. He's blown up a big chunk of Moscow, taken a spot as the leader of Skrulls on earth, and wants to just get rid of the pesky humans standing in the way of this becoming a new home for all Skrulls.

Naturally, when you see flashbacks to the times the Skrull refugees on earth are essentially left out in the cold by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who promised to find them a new home, it's not hard to sympathize with Gravik. Still, sympathy and endorsing his terrorist attacks on innocent people are two different things, Ben-Adir says.

"With Gravik, it was really important that we get to understand why," the actor began. "But I think that was equally important was to make decisions around him being a guy who has crossed over that lane--that he doesn't trust anyone or feel love for anything or anyone at this point. That he's gone too far. He's been let down time and time and time and time and time again by the leadership figures in his life. And we meet him at a point where it's like, no more trusting anyone."

That mindset does no favors for anybody, which certainly makes us think we will see far more disaster, pain, and torment before the six episodes of Secret Invasion come to a close. After all, if Gravik's mindset is that you're either with him or you're against the survival of the Skrulls, there are a lot of people--and Skrulls--out there who will likely end up on the wrong side.

Secret Invasion episodes release Wednesdays on Disney+.

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