Ryan Gosling Jokes About People 'Clutching Their Pearls' Over His Shirtless Ken Photo for Barbie

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Ryan Gosling is one proud Ken — denim vest, bleached hair and all.

The 41-year-old actor stopped by The Tonight Show Thursday to chat with Jimmy Fallon about his new movie The Gray Man, and also opened up a bit about what compelled him to play Ken in Greta Gerwig's upcoming Barbie film, due next summer.

"It officially broke the internet," Fallon, 47, told his guest about the first-glimpse, shirtless snapshot of Gosling's Ken that dropped last month.

"Well, you know, the internet's been trying to break me for years. So they gave me no other choice," the actor quipped.

Gosling went on to joke that he was "surprised how some people were kind of clutching their pearls about my Ken, as though they ever thought about Ken for a second before this."

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Ryan Gosling on Jimmy Kimmel Live Ken barbie movie. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9uHZ2uQ8YI
Ryan Gosling on Jimmy Kimmel Live Ken barbie movie. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9uHZ2uQ8YI

Jimmy Kimmel Live Ryan Gosling and Jimmy Fallon

RELATED: Ryan Gosling Reacts to His Viral Barbie Reveal: "Internet Has Been Trying to Break Me for Years"

"They never played with Ken! Nobody plays with Ken, man," he joked. "Did you play with Ken? Exactly. … He's an accessory, and not even one of the cool ones."

In seriousness, Gosling said the Barbie film's script, by Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, is the "best" he has "ever read," but he still had to consider whether the role was right for him.

And upon contemplation in his backyard, the father of two daughters saw something that he took as a sign: a Ken doll, face down, next to a squished lemon.

"Do you know where I found Ken, Jimmy? Facedown in the mud next to a squished lemon," Gosling recalled. "I texted [the photo] to Greta and I said, 'I shall be your Ken, for his story must be told.' "

Ryan Gosling on Jimmy Kimmel Live Ken barbie movie. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9uHZ2uQ8YI
Ryan Gosling on Jimmy Kimmel Live Ken barbie movie. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9uHZ2uQ8YI

Jimmy Kimmel Live The Tonight Show

RELATED: Eva Mendes Asked to Keep Ryan Gosling's Ken Underwear from Barbie Movie: "I'm Wearing It Right Now"

At the L.A. premiere of his new Netflix action movie The Gray Man last week, Gosling teased his excitement for his upcoming comedy with Margot Robbie, in which he plays a live-action version of the iconic Ken doll.

"We've been having so much fun making this movie and it felt nice to see everyone else start having as much fun as we are. I can't wait for the film to come out and for that to continue," he told PEOPLE.

The actor also discussed his experience making The Gray Man with costars Chris Evans, Ana de Armas and Regé-Jean Page. He said he felt like the "new guy" on set since Evans has history working with directors the Russo brothers (Anthony Russo and Joseph Russo) on Marvel movies.

"Not just Chris and the Russos, but that whole team has been working together for so long that it's just such a well-oiled machine," said Gosling. "I definitely was the new guy, but I was just along for the ride and I couldn't have picked a better team to do it with."

The Gray Man is in theaters and on Netflix now, while Barbie premieres on July 21, 2023.