Barbie director Greta Gerwig has revealed how she got Ryan Gosling to perform a track for the film’s soundtrack.
The director was speaking as part of a new interview with Rolling Stone when she reflected on the song ‘I’m Just Ken’ – a track from the film performed by the leading actor.
In the discussion, she admitted that she initially believed that he would have been reluctant to perform the song, and therefore took a very specific approach to convincing him to do it.
“He has a beautiful voice, and he’s a beautiful dancer. We kind of got there organically. I think if I had said, “I want you to sing and dance in this movie,” he would not have necessarily done that for me,” she began.
“But it was kind of that thing of boiling a lobster. I think by the time he was singing and dancing, he didn’t even totally know how we had gotten there,” she added. “But he’s so fabulous at it.”
She also shed light on the inspiration behind the track, and how songwriters Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt wanted ‘I’m Just Ken’ to draw similarities to artists such as Meat Loaf.
“Mark Ronson talked a lot about glam-rock and Meat Loaf and the drama of that kind of song. And then Mark and his songwriting partner Andrew Wyatt wrote ‘I’m Just Ken’. They didn’t even have all the lyrics. They just had a feeling and the skeleton and the lyric “I’m just Ken” and it just evolved from there,” she said.
“Because I was born in ’83 and going to movies in the Nineties, I wanted to create a moment that felt like those movies from the Nineties, when they had soundtracks to movies that ended up at Costco.”
Elsewhere in the interview, she also admitted that Gosling was the only actor she had in mind for the role of Ken, and that both she and lead actress Margot Robbie refused to “take no for an answer”.
“From the moment that Margot came to me and I knew we were making this for Margot, I equally knew we were making this for Ryan,” she said. “And I did not know Ryan at all. I’d never met him. I just was sure, and as soon as I thought of it, it made me so happy. Who else could do this? It’s some combination of Marlon Brando meets Gene Wilder meets John Barrymore meets John Travolta.”
Earlier this month, it was revealed that Guns N’ Roses icon Slash also appeared alongside Gosling on ‘I’m Just Ken’, and provided the blistering guitar track that sits behind the actor’s vocals.
Other artists featured in the star-studded soundtrack include Billie Eilish, Sam Smith, Charlie XCX, Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice, and Dua Lipa.
In other Ryan Gosling news, the actor publicly gifted a guitar from the movie to BTS’ Jimin, after he “copied” one of his outfits.
“Hi Jimin, it’s Ryan Gosling here. I notice that your ‘Permission to Dance’ outfit is the same as my Ken outfit in the upcoming movie, Barbie. I have to give it to you — you wore it first… You definitely wore it best,” he said.
“There’s an unspoken Ken code that if you bite another Ken’s style, you have to give them your most prized possession. I hope you’ll accept Ken’s guitar as my humble offering.”