Ryan Gosling Explains Why He Loved Working On Barbie With Margot Robbie, And A Seagull Is Involved

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Written By Maya Cantina

Despite those early ageist comments, Ryan Gosling was the perfect choice to play Barbie’s longtime boyfriend Ken in Barbie. He made Kenergy and the film’s viral hit “I’m Just Ken” one of the biggest phenomena of 2023. Of course, the element that sold Gosling as the iconic doll was his chemistry with Barbie herself, Margot Robbie. As Oscar buzz surrounds his comedic performance, the Academy Award-nominated actor explained why he loved working with Robbie, and a seagull is involved.

The Barbie star’s performance as Ken became a major pop culture moment in 2023 while racking multiple awards nominations, including a 2024 Golden Globe nod for Best Supporting Actor. So, as the award season gets going, Gosling and co-star Margot Robbie sat down with W for a joint interview about the summer blockbuster. The Hollywood A-lister opened up about the first scene he filmed with Robbie, and her sweet reaction to the prop he brought onto set that day:

The boat—when Barbie and Ken travel to the real world. I brought a prop seagull to set. I asked somebody to puppeteer it in the shot, and I didn’t tell Margot. Ninety percent of the actors I’ve worked with would go [very sarcastically], ‘You brought a seagull. Great.’ But Margot was open to the seagull puppetry.

It’s nice to know that Robbie got a kick out of Gosling’s idea to add a seagull. Compared to the opening scene, the real-world road trip required a bit more time and focus given the intricate sets involved. The fun chaos of the iconic duo leaving Barbieland was one of the comedy’s highlights. And it’s so nice to know that the The Notebook star was encouraged to have fun with the scene.

However, Ryan Gosling was already one with the Kenergy before setting foot on the set. He enjoyed Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach’s script before even reading the first page. The La La Land actor recalled Ken’s name being “scratched out” on the title page. He was left to his devices in portraying the 70-year-old doll as there wasn’t a lot of research he could do on Ken compared to his longtime girlfriend. Things ended up working out in his favor as the actor received critical acclaim in Barbie reviews for his outlandish performance.

The film’s success and acclaim have translated into Gosling becoming a frontrunner for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Along with his Golden Globe nom, he scored Critics Choice and Satellite Award nominations. I think his commitment to the bit and detail of the movie — which includes the time he brought a seagull puppet to set — deeply played into his success as Ken. Of course, viewers won’t have to wait long to see if his name will be called for former as the awards ceremony will air on January 7 at 8 pm ET on CBS.

While Ryan Gosling is riding the Barbie success in his boat with Margot Robbie and that seagull, audiences will have another Gosling summer as the big-screen adaptation of The Fall Guy hits theaters on May 3. Until the action comedy arrives, you can stream Barbie through a Max subscription. Don’t forget to look over our 2024 movie schedule to see what other blockbusters are coming this spring and summer.

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