Greta Gerwig‘s much anticipated “Barbie” movie premiered to a select audience in Los Angeles, California on Sunday. As celebrities and influencers alike donned their best glitter and glam on the pink carpet, one early review is standing out–Ryan Gosling‘s performance as Ken. Initially, some longtime “Barbie” fans were apprehensive about the actor’s ability to bring the right “kenergy” to the character, but critics are now saying otherwise.
#Barbie is a dazzling movie that honors the bombastic nature of the 50s movie musical while maintaining masterful contemporary commentary on America’s plastic It Girl. This film dares to re-contextualize who Barbie is or isn’t and manages to nail it w/humor and heart. A triumph. pic.twitter.com/aJEvUBpPJz
— bobbi hosts ✨The Afternoon Special✨ (@hiimbobbi) July 10, 2023
Gosling reportedly put in the work to get into character. The actor continues to speak on how the role is helping him heal his inner child. A viral video of Gosling dancing and singing at a recital as a child reportedly inspired his ballad performance as Ken in “Barbie.”
Ryan Gosling enlisted young Ryan Gosling to help with ‘BARBIE’.
“I thought I had left that kid behind, I realised that I needed his help to make this movie. So I had to go back and make peace with him and ask for his help.”
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) July 10, 2023
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 10, 2023
Fans of the actor are hoping that the early praise for his performance in the film will launch him back into more comedic roles. Gosling previously starred “Nice Guys,” “Crazy Stupid Love” and other comedies throughout the 2010s.
— Zoë Rose Bryant (@ZoeRoseBryant) July 10, 2023
Margot Robbie, who stars as the titular Barbie, praised the actor for his ability to step up to the plate and offer unique commentary on toxic masculinity through his portrayal of Ken.
— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) July 10, 2023
Others have recognized the recent uptick in male actors committing to method acting for difficult roles. Gosling essentially utilized the tool to get into the role of Ken, but in a more positive way than some of the allegedly abusive behaviors of other actors. Most recently Jonathan Majors, who currently stands charged with domestic assault, spoke on the impacts of method acting.
Kind of cool how in Ryan Gosling’s Ken we have the positive version of a method actor becoming the joker. Every pr quote from him is incomprehensible. He went too method for Barbie and now his brain doesn’t work
— Kath Barbadoro (@kathbarbadoro) July 10, 2023
The “Barbie” Buzz
Mattel’s first Barbie doll was released in 1959. A Ken doll meant to be Barbie’s boyfriend was released several years later. Throughout the following decades, several iterations of the doll working in different professions were created, and several affiliated animated movies were released. Many Gen Z and millennial women grew up watching the “Barbie” film franchise, and were both excited and apprehensive for a live-action version of the Barbie cinematic universe. Now, fans continue to post their outfit ideas for Barbie screenings across the country.
In true Ken fashion, Gosling wore a pink suit to the film’s premiere, complete with a pink initial chain with the letter “E” in honor of his wife and fellow actress Eva Mendes. Fans were touched by the simple yet sincere gesture. Mendes made the choice to step away from acting several years ago.
— Complex Pop Culture (@ComplexPop) July 10, 2023
“Barbie” premieres on the same day as Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” on July 21.