From what we’ve seen so far of Ryan Gosling as Ken in the Barbie movie—tangerine tan, bleach blonde hair, and donning his very own Ken underwear—it’s a role the Hollywood star was born to play. But behind the plastic abs and double denim, channelling his inner Ken (or “Kenergy,” as Gosling puts it) took some getting used to.
Speaking alongside director Greta Gerwig and co-star Margot Robbie at Comic Con in Las Vegas on April 25, Gosling revealed how he was forced to dig deep in order to fully understand the character.
“I only knew Ken from afar,” the actor said, according to The Huffington Post. “I didn’t know Ken from within and if I’m being really honest, I doubted my Kenergy.”
According to Gosling, it was Gerwig and Robbie that helped him discover his inner Ken. “I didn’t see it, but Margot and Greta, they conjured this out of me somehow. It was like I was living my life and then one day I was bleaching my hair, shaving my legs, wearing bespoke neon outfits, and rollerblading down Venice beach,” he said.
Playing the role also leaked into Gosling’s private life. “It came on like a light scarlet fever,” he joked. “And then I woke up one day and was like, ‘Why is there fake tanner in my sheets? What just happened?'”
The plot of the movie has been kept tightly under wraps by Warner Bros. The official synopsis for the film reads, “After being expelled from Barbieland for being a less than perfect-looking doll, Barbie sets off for the human world to find true happiness.” The Warner Bros website adds a little more context: “To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you’re a Ken.”
The cast are also keeping the plot a secret. Gosling has said that it’s the “best script I’ve ever read,” while actress America Ferrera said in an interview with People, “People don’t have any idea what to expect, and I think that that’s the right vibe. Whatever you think it is, it’s not that. It’s something else.”
Barbie is set for release in theaters on July 21, 2023.
Luke is Men’s Health UK‘s senior ecommerce writer, specialising in reviewing the latest health and fitness products. Luke interviews some of the world’s most knowledgeable experts across menswear, grooming, fitness equipment and nutrition to help readers make smart decisions when shopping online. He has an MA in Magazine Journalism and has worked as a journalist for titles like The Recommended, Outdoor Swimmer magazine and B2B publications. When he’s not compiling round-ups of the best expert-verified products, Luke can be found training for running events, playing squash or swimming at one of London’s lidos.