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Sorry, Haters: Ryan Gosling Was Born to Play Ken, and This Video Proves it

by Carmella D'Acquisto

When the photos of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in coordinating neon spandex hit the internet for the first time last summer, the world was abuzz about the Barbie movie. Margot Robbie plays the titular role, and Ryan Gosling plays her Ken. And while it’s clear to see why Robbie was chosen to play Barbie, some internet trolls think Gosling isn’t a good fit for Ken. 

A lot of the criticism is because of Gosling and Robbie’s age gap, Gosling is 42 and Robbie is 32, and some believe he is too old to play the iconic role. Looking at the original Ken dolls, his age is completely ambiguous– I guess that’s what happens when you’re made of plastic! 

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With Gosling’s bleach blonde hair and summery wardrobe, we think he makes the quintessential Ken. Several others agree that Gosling is the perfect fit, including twitter user @MIAGAWTH who shared a childhood pre-Mouseketeer-era video of Gosling dancing on stage in a bright and glittery costume, looking like the perfect baby Ken. 


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Gosling was the first ever Canadian Mouseketeer, after he won dance competitions and talent shows in his hometown of Ottawa. According to this news video, his clean cut looks and singing voice landed him an audition at Disney. Well those attributes have certainly followed him throughout his career, and really just confirms that he was always meant to play Ken. 

While the internet isn’t quite in agreement about the casting, writer and director Greta Gerwig sure is. Gerwig offered Gosling the role, and waited to see if Gosling would accept the offer. 

“I’m thrilled,” Gerwig told Variety last year about the public’s interest in Gosling as Ken. “That is how I felt and how Margot felt and I’m thrilled that everyone shares that feeling.”

Gosling shared his reasoning on why he decided to join the film on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

“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,” Gosling told Fallen. “They never played with Ken, nobody played with Ken, man. Did you play with Ken? He’s an accessory. And not even one of the cool ones.”

Gosling goes on to explain that when Gerwig sent him the script, he thought it was the best he’s ever read. But he was still hesitant to join the cast until an ominous sign pushed him in the right direction. 

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“I walk out in the back yard and you know where I find Ken? Face down in the mud next to a squashed lemon,” he said in the interview. “I texted it to Greta and I said, ‘I shall be your Ken. For his story must be told.’”

Catch Ken and all his iconic looks during the nation-wide release of Barbie on July 21. 

Top photo: screengrab from Ryan Gosling dancing video

Poster is from the official Barbie movie Instagram

Ken and lemon photo is a screengrab from the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

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