Margot Robbie on making Barbie with Ryan Gosling and her husband’s reaction
We’re getting closer and closer to finally getting to see the endlessly hyped Barbie movie, starring Margot Robbie, which has been ten years in the making.
Though the official film starring the Australian-born actress as “Stereotypical Barbie” and directed by Greta Gerwig, who wrote the movie with partner Noah Baumbach, was only confirmed in 2019, Hollywood has been trying to make a Barbie movie as far back as 2009.
It started when Mattel signed a deal with Universal Pictures in 2009, though it wasn’t until 2014 that Sony Pictures started developing a script from Sex and the City writer Jenny Bicks, after which Juno writer Diablo Cody came on, though no Barbie movie made its way from Barbie Land to Hollywood for years to come.
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In 2016, Amy Schumer was announced as Barbie, though by the following year, she was out, and Anne Hathaway was in instead. Then she was also out, and now, ten years later, we’ve finally landed on Margot, who in a new cover story with Vogue, talked about finally getting the flick onto the big screen, where it lands July 21.
The Barbie movie had already garnered such a reputation of impossibility, that when Margot first read the Greta-Noah script with her husband, Tom Ackerley, their initial reaction was: “It is such a shame that we’re never going to be able to make this movie.”
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“We just looked at each other, pure panic on our faces,” she now recalls after thinking how “genius” the script, of which little has yet to be revealed today, was. She and her husband, who she married in 2016, serve as producers of Barbie via their company LuckyChap. She in fact signed on as producer much before she ever even imagined herself as Barbie.
“I was very scared it was going to be a no,” she remembers thinking when it was time to pitch herself to both Mattel and Warner Bros. She adds: “At the time this was such a terrifying thing to take on. People were like, ‘You’re going to do what?'”
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However, once Greta was on, she more than proved that she was fully committed to Barbie. Vogue reveals that ahead of filming, Greta threw a slumber party for the Barbies (which include Dua Lipa, Issa Rae, Emma Mackey, Nicola Coughlan, and others) at the Claridge’s Hotel in London, and, keeping on the theme of “She’s everything… he’s Ken,” the Kens (Ryan Gosling, Simu Liu, Scott Evans) were invited to stop by, but not to sleep over.
While Ryan wasn’t able to make it, the outlet reports “he sent a singing telegram in the form of an older Scottish man in a kilt who played bagpipes and delivered the speech from Braveheart.” Speaking of Ryan as Ken, Margot says his performance is: “The greatest version of Ryan Gosling ever put on screen,” of which he simply says: “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.”
Margot was determined to ensure he gave it a real shot, and Ryan reveals: “She left a pink present with a pink bow, from Barbie to Ken, every day while we were filming. They were all beach-related. Like puka shells, or a sign that says ‘Pray for surf,'” adding: “I felt like she was trying to help Ken understand, through these gifts that she was giving.”
What’s more, to make sure everyone was in Barbie mode, LuckyChap, Margot’s production company, hosted weekly movie screenings at the Electric Cinema in London’s Notting Hill, where the cast and crew were invited each Sunday to watch a different movie that was used for reference in Barbie, and they called it “movie church.” Scroll below for more clips from Barbie.
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