Ryan Gosling bared his soul in a recent Variety profile, revealing his initial hesitations and struggles when it came to portraying the iconic character Ken in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. Despite the immense buzz and anticipation surrounding the film’s release in July 2023, Gosling experienced a daunting journey in preparing for the role and accepting it in the first place.

Gosling candidly admitted that Ken was the most challenging role he had ever faced. With scheduling conflicts and concerns about embodying a character that had often been the butt of pop culture jokes, he initially turned down the opportunity. Furthermore, the lack of substantial material available to develop Ken’s character added an additional layer of difficulty.

However, despite his reservations, Ryan Gosling eventually came around to the idea and committed to exploring Ken’s depth. He described the process as a daring high-wire act, comparing it to performing without a safety net while wearing nothing but tiny shorts and no shirt. Gosling felt a tremendous pressure not to be the one who would tarnish the legacy of the Barbie movie, pushing himself beyond known limits.

To find the essence of Ken, Gosling drew from his own experiences as a child performer. He recalled singing at weddings, constantly seeking validation and questioning his purpose. It was during these introspective moments that he received valuable advice from his wife, Eva Mendes, who encouraged him to make it all about Barbie. This realization became a turning point for Gosling, as he saw every take as an opportunity to capture Barbie’s attention and leave a lasting impression.

As the Oscars approach in March, the film industry eagerly awaits the Academy’s acknowledgment of Barbie’s impact. Despite receiving multiple nominations across various categories, some argue that the film has been overlooked. Gosling himself voiced his disappointment with the Academy’s omission of Margot Robbie for Best Actress and Greta Gerwig for Best Director when the nominations were announced.

Regardless of the award outcomes, Barbie was recognized as the best movie of 2023 by GameSpot, solidifying its cultural significance and critical acclaim.

Ryan Gosling’s candid reflections on playing Ken in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie illuminate the struggles he faced and the lengths he went to in order to bring depth and authenticity to the beloved character. From initial reluctance to fearless commitment, Gosling’s journey showcases his dedication and determination to surpass expectations.

In the end, whether or not Barbie receives the recognition it deserves from the Academy, Gosling’s portrayal of Ken stands as a personal triumph. Through introspection and drawing from his own experiences, he revealed Ken’s complexities, giving the iconic character a new lease on life and captivating audiences in the process.


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