The surprising reason Ryan Gosling decided to play ‘Ken’ in ‘Barbie’

While promoting his Netflix film The Gray Man, on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, his first time on the show in 10+ years, Gosling revealed why he agreed to play Ken in Greta Gerwig’s upcoming film, “Barbie.”

As Gosling tells it, some time ago, director Gerwig offered Gosling the part of Ken. The script was the “best … [he’d] ever read,” he told host Jimmy Fallon, but he wanted to take a moment and consider the decision in the fresh air.

“I walk out in the backyard. You know where I found Ken, Jimmy? Face down in the mud next to a squished lemon,” Gosling told the host.

He had stumbled on his daughters’ toy lying in the dirt, so he saw it as a good sign — and took a photo of the doll and texted it to the “Lady Bird” director, writing: “I shall be your Ken, for this story must be told.”

Gosling also touched upon the reactions to photos that have dropped showing him and Robbie, 32, in full — oft-neon — Barbie couture.

“I was surprised how, you know, some people were clutching their pearls at my Ken as though they ever thought about Ken for a second before this,” he said. “They never played with Ken. Nobody plays with Ken, man.

“Nobody plays with Ken, man,” Gosling lamented. “He’s an accessory and not even one of the cool ones.”

In an interview earlier this month with Entertainment Tonight, Gosling said that life in plastic is much harder than the life of the fictional mercenary he plays in Netflix’s “The Gray Man.”

“Ken’s got no money, he’s got no job, he’s got no car, he’s got no house,” Gosling said in the earlier interview. “He’s going through some stuff.”

“Those are not plot details; those are just objective facts about Ken,” he said. “That’s the Ken life.”

“Barbie” is set to be released on July 21, 2023.

Robbie and Tom Ackerley are producing under their LuckyChap Entertainment production banner, alongside Mattel’s Robbie Brenner and Heyday Films’ David Heyman. LuckyChap’s Josey McNamara and Mattel’s Ynon Kreiz are serving as exec producers. Other cast members include America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon, Ariana Greenblatt, Alexandra Shipp, Emma Mackey, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Issa Rae, Michael Cera, Rhea Perlman, and Will Ferrell.

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