Barbie: Every Amazing Thing Ryan Gosling Has Said So Far About Playing Ken

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The post Barbie: Every Amazing Thing Ryan Gosling Has Said So Far About Playing Ken appeared first on Consequence.

Some of Hollywood’s greatest casting moments have been the least expected, initially: Heath Ledger as the Joker in 2008’s The Dark Knight, or Matt Damon unveiling his inner bad-ass in the Bourne films. And a future addition to that list might be Ryan Gosling as Ken, the bleached-blond, mega-tanned doll who comes to life in Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Barbie.

The Oscar-nominated Gosling began actively discussing Ken and Barbie during last summer’s press tour for spy thriller The Gray Man, for good reason: Photos of his new “look” were then (and continue to be) instant viral moments, and no actor in recent memory has seemed to delight in talking about a project the way that Gosling talks about Barbie in the press.

Every time it comes up, in fact, Gosling’s quotes generate a whole wave of new interest across the internet, because Gosling seems to have formed quite an intense connection with his toy-inspired role, who he sees as an underdog figure. “If you ever really cared about Ken, you would know that nobody cared about Ken,” (as he told GQ in May 2023).

As Gosling says, Ken’s story must be told — and so must the story of Gosling talking about Ken. This article will be updated with whatever else Gosling might say in the future, as we all prepare for the arrival of “the Ken-aissance.”


“I Would Never Correct Barbie. I Would Never Dream of It”

Edited transcript, from “Ryan Gosling Teases ‘Barbie’ Movie, His ‘Kenergy’ and ‘The Gray Man’ Film (Exclusive)” (Entertainment Tonight, July 12th, 2022):

Lauren Zima: At one point, Chris’s character insults yours by calling you a Ken doll.

Ryan Gosling: Which is not an insult at all. It’s not. I’m proud of that. I have that Ken-energy — that he could feel, obviously, when he commented on it. And I still feel like the Ken-ergy is alive.

Zima: Can you explain the Ken-ergy for me?

Gosling: I can’t. I mean, did you know what I mean? No? You know a Ken in your life, and then you know that that Ken has Ken-ergy.

Zima: Well, it’s the Ken-aissance, per Eva Mendes. Did you love that she coined that term for you?

Gosling: I loved it. I loved it. I love that she’s got love for Ken. That means a lot to me.

Zima: You know, Margot Robbie [who plays Barbie in the film] told us whatever we think the Barbie movie is, it’s not that. How would you tease the movie or respond to that quote?

Gosling: I think I would never correct Barbie. I would never dream of it. I would say whatever Barbie says is exactly right. She’s right. It’s not what you think it is, unless it is, and then you know what it is and then… But I don’t think that’s what you think it is.

Zima: What is it?

Gosling: Wait, what are we talking about?

Zima: The Barbie movie.

Gosling: Oh, yeah. [Laughs] I’m excited.

Zima: Are you?

Gosling: Yes.

Zima: I mean, people are going nuts for the photos of it.

Gosling: I can’t wait. That’s nothing. I can’t wait for people to see the film.

Zima: Give me one word.

Gosling: Not what you expect.

Zima: “It’s not what you expect” — one word?

Gosling: That’s all I can say. Otherwise, Mattel will come in and box me up.

Zima: Well, that’s kinda the point.

Gosling: Or is it? I don’t know. What are we talking about?

Zima: [Laughs] Which role then, maybe, were you more buff for — The Gray Man or Barbie? Because we see Ken’s abs…

Gosling: Right, right. Yeah. That Ken life is, that Ken life is… It’s even harder than The Gray Man life, I think. Ken’s got no money. He’s got no job. He’s got no car, he’s got no house. He’s going through some stuff.

Zima: Wow. Maybe the Ken-assaince isn’t what we thought it was.

Gosling: Maybe it’s time.


“I Think a Lot of Kens Will Feel Seen When They See This”

Barbie Ryan Gosling Ken
Barbie Ryan Gosling Ken

Barbie (Warner Bros.)

From “Ryan Gosling Couldn’t Wait to Become Ken in ‘Barbie’: ‘This Has Been Coming My Whole Life’” (Variety, July 13th, 2022):

“Finally, it’s happening. This has been coming my whole life… I felt like I was seeing myself. I felt seen. I think a lot of Kens will feel seen when they see this. Gotta do it for the Kens. Nobody plays with the Kens.”


“I Hope This Starts a Ken-Ergy Movement”

From “Ryan Gosling’s Been Waiting His ‘Whole Life’ to Look Like a Ken Doll” (Vanity Fair, July 14th, 2022)

“I’ve waited my whole life to look like this. I hope this starts a Ken-ergy movement. The Ken-ergy is going to be alive and well.”


“His Story Must Be Told”

Edited transcript from “Ryan Gosling Addresses His Viral Ken Picture and Paints Jimmy’s Fingernail Pink (Extended)” (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, July 21st, 2022)

Jimmy Fallon: Were you surprised by the great reaction this photo got?

Ryan Gosling: I was surprised how, you know, some people were kind of clutching their pearls about my Ken, as though they ever thought about Ken for a second. They never played with Ken! Nobody plays with Ken. Man.

Fallon: You don’t really play with Ken.

Gosling: Did you play with Ken? Exactly. Nah, I didn’t.

Fallon: But he was available.

Gosling: And yet…

Fallon: He stayed in the toy box.

Gosling: He’s an accessory, and not even one of the cool ones…

Fallon: I want to set up this story cause it made me laugh… You got a call from Greta Gerwig, who’s a great actor, director, and writer, and she offered you the role of Ken. And you went out in your backyard and you just wanted to think about it for a second. You go in the backyard…

Gosling: Best script I’ve ever read. I walk out in the backyard and do you know where I found Ken, Jimmy? Face down in the mud next to a squished lemon.

Fallon: And this is the photo. You took a photo of it, [because] this is a sign. This is a sign that you gotta do this movie. The utter disrespect.

Gosling: I texted it to Greta and I said, “I shall be your Ken. For his story must be told.”

Fallon: His story must be told… I know you’re doing press for The Gray Man, but people were asking about the Barbie movie and they go, you know, what is it about? And you go, well, Ken has no house, you know, no home and no job. So is this a drama? Is this a sad—

Gosling: Those are not plot details. Those are just objective facts about Ken.

Fallon: Nothing to do with the movie. The movie’s not about Ken having no house or a job.

Gosling: No, that’s just the Ken life.


“Barbie Never Fucked with Ken. That’s the Point”

Barbie Ryan Gosling Ken
Barbie Ryan Gosling Ken

Barbie (Warner Bros.)

From “The Return of Ryan Gosling” (GQ, May 31st, 2023)

“Ken, his job is beach. For 60 years, his job has been the beach. What the fuck does that even mean?”

On how his younger self might react to the film: “There’s something about this Ken that really, 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. 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.”

On seeing how his daughters treat their own Ken dolls (echoing the Tonight Show anecdote): “I did see him, like, face down in the mud outside one day, next to a squished lemon. And it was like, This guy’s story does need to be told, you know?”

“I would say, you know, if people don’t want to play with my Ken, there are many other Kens to play with… It is funny, this kind of clutching-your-pearls idea of, like, #notmyken. Like you ever thought about Ken before this?… 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 fucked 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.”

“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.’”


Pink Days!

From “Sleepovers, Group Chats, Mandated Pink Days and More Explored in PEOPLE’s Special ‘Barbie’ Issue (Exclusive)” (People, July 7th, 2023)

“Margot had this pink day once a week, where everyone had to wear something pink. And if you didn’t, you were fined… She would go around collecting the fines, and she would donate it to a charity.

“What was really special was just how excited the male crew members were. At the end of the film, they all got together and, with their own money, made pink crew shirts with rainbow fringe… It was this opportunity for them to show their respect and admiration for what Margot and [director] Greta [Gerwig] were creating. It was almost like that scene at the end of Dead Poets Society, where they all get on their desk and say, ‘O captain! My captain!'”


The Definition of Kenergy

From Ryan Gosling’s speech at the 2023 Variety Hitmakers Brunch in Hollywood, CA, honoring Mark Ronson for the soundtrack of the year. (December 9th, 2023)

“I’m here to introduce someone who needs no introduction. We all know who he is. We’ve always known who he is, even if we didn’t really know who he was, he was that really well-dressed dude with the good hair, intentionally avoiding the spotlight to instead be the creative force behind the award-winning hits for multiple artists and collaborating with everyone from Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Adele, Duran Duran, Diplo, and of course Amy Whitehouse. What can I say about this intentionally enigmatic figure? How can we know a man who refuses to be known? How do you define that which defies definition, maybe it can only be done with a word that’s just as hard to pin down — a word like Kenergy.

“What is Kenergy, other than a word I made up on a press junket so I didn’t have to answer questions that will haunt me the rest of my life? Well, it’s a noun and I’ve come to understand it as the strength and vitality required to sustain a period of Kenning.

“What is Kenning, you ask? You didn’t ask? Well, it’s a verb. To Ken, it’s to do more than is necessary, or required, to reflect so that others might shine. I don’t know a better way to describe Mark Ronson than that.

“I can tell you from firsthand experience that up until six months ago, the entire world gave zero fucks about Ken. He was just this 70-year-old crotchless doll with no no car, no job, no voice, not good enough. Now he has a Grammy nominated power ballad and the voice of an angel. What happened is simple — he met Mark Ronson and his life changed forever.

“But he wasn’t the first and he won’t be the last. He’s just the latest in the long line of those who Mark has lent his creativity, generosity, and infinite talent to synthesize their essence into music. And let me tell you, if you’ve ever had your essence synthesized into music by Mark Ronson, you’re gonna want to give him an award too… I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the Hitmaker Soundtrack of the Year award. A man who’s been Kenning with Extreme Kenergy — since before there was a word for it.”

Barbie begins streaming on Max on December 15th.

Barbie: Every Amazing Thing Ryan Gosling Has Said So Far About Playing Ken
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