Ryan Gosling confesses that playing Ken in Barbie was his hardest role ever

By Abby Amoakuh

Updated Jan 5, 2024 at 03:22 PM

Reading time: 1 minute


The Barbie movie has accomplished many things but its wins seem to have culminated with Barbie’s sidekick, Ken. The terms ‘Big Kenergy’ and ‘Kenough’ have multiple logs on the Urban Dictionary and the movie’s lead song ‘I’m Just Ken’ is not only nominated for a Grammy but also an Oscar for Best Original Song.

To top it all off, it looks like there might be an ‘I’m Just Ken’ live performance at the 2024 Oscars on the cards for Ryan Gosling. The actor, who is undoubtedly experiencing a career-high due to the movie, noted that he hasn’t been invited yet. Nevertheless, he expressed that he would be open to the idea in an interview with W magazine. “I wasn’t thinking about it until now, and now it’s all I’m going to think about,” he confessed.

This led to quite the push online for Gosling’s Ken character to make it on the Acadamy Awards stage. If Cocaine Bear can make it, why not Ken, right?

In the same interview with W, Gosling also called Ken the hardest character he has played thus far. “How do you approach playing a 70-year-old crotchless doll?” he rhetorically asked.

“There’s no research you can do for that. There’s no one you can shadow, no documentaries you can watch, no books written about Ken. You’re on your own,” Gosling joked.

“It was the title page of the script, which said ‘Barbie and Ken’, but ‘and Ken’ was scratched out. And the next impression was, this is the hardest part I’ll ever play,” he said.

Gosling’s performance as Ken was definitely memorable. There aren’t a lot of roles that allowed him to showcase all of his skills as an actor but this one certainly did. Nevertheless, it should be noted that Margot Robbie’s Barbie is relatively absent in praise and admiration for the movie.

Although Barbie is the titular figure, it is starting to look like she is being outshined by Ken…

The Guardian already declared in July 2023 that Ken stole the Barbie movie, noting that the examination of male fragility and toxic masculinity was the most compelling part of the movie. Other critics have also argued that Barbie’s take on female empowerment, while strong, still needed work and fell flat in many areas.

Ken’s struggle to define his identity without Barbie in a gender-reversed world however was infallible. It was a deep, silly and sexy recipe for success that catapulted Ken into the billboard charts and everyone’s hearts.

So it will definitely be exciting to see if he can also make it to the 2024 Oscars.

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