It’s hard to imagine anyone besides Margot Robbie in the titular role of Barbie in Greta Gerwig’s new movie, but it wasn’t guaranteed even though Robbie served as the film’s co-producer. In a new interview with Teen Vogue, she explained how the casting came to be.
“I didn’t actually audition for the role of Barbie,” Robbie explained. “I produced the film, so I guess I cast myself.”
But Gerwig was ultimately the one who had final say.
“I said to her when she said, ‘Yes, I’ll come on board,’ ‘I don’t have to be in the movie,’” Robbie continued. “I’m very passionate about making this as a producer, but I don’t have to play Barbie or be in the movie in any capacity, I’m happy just to produce. And she was like, ‘No, I really wanna write this for you.’ And she wrote me an amazing part, so I’m very grateful.”
Gerwig and Robbie both knew that Ryan Gosling would be great as Ken.
“She wrote him into the script as well,” Robbie said. “It always said in the script: ‘Barbie, Margot’ and ‘Ken, Ryan Gosling.’”
Gosling was not signed on to do the Barbie movie when Gerwig and Robbie first started discussing him in the role, and she says they “manifested that into existence as well.”
She added, “And just pretty much wouldn’t take no for an answer. We’re like, Ryan, you have to come do it. It’s on the page, you have to.”
The Barbie movie has been a long time coming. In 2016, Amy Schumer and her sister Kim Caramele were working on a script to star the comedian. She couldn’t do it and pulled out of the project, and Anne Hathaway was tapped next. Robbie’s production team started working with Warner Bros., and she became the one true Barbie. Except for all the others living in Barbie Land, of course.
Aimée Lutkin is the weekend editor at ELLE.com. Her writing has appeared in Jezebel, Glamour, Marie Claire and more. Her first book, The Lonely Hunter, will be released by Dial Press in February 2022.