The ‘Barbie’ Movie Almost Included a Joke About How Much Costars Margot Robbie and Emma Mackey Look Alike

The comparisons between the two doppelgangers have floated around the internet for years.

Side by side of Margot Robbie and Emma Mackey
(Image credit: Getty)

It seems the Barbie movie is in on the longstanding joke that actresses Margot Robbie (who plays the title character in the film) and Emma Mackey (who plays Physicist Barbie) resemble one another to an uncanny degree—an opinion that has swept the internet as far back as 2019, when the Instagram account @morphy_me posted a few images morphing the two women’s faces together. Since then, perceived doppelgangers Robbie and Mackey have been closely linked.

Margot Robbie on the "Barbie" red carpet

(Image credit: Getty)

In Barbie, the lookalikes became costars, and the joke of their similar appearance runs so deep that a bit of it almost made it into the script for the movie itself. “I’ve been getting told for years that I look like the girl from Sex Education, who’s Emma Mackey,” Robbie said in a recent interview with Buzzfeed alongside costar Ryan Gosling, who plays Ken (there are also puppies in the interview, so there’s that). Robbie even suggested that one of the reasons Mackey was cast in the film was because Robbie and the movie’s director Greta Gerwig thought it would be “funny” to reference their continued comparisons onscreen.

Emma Mackey on a red carpet in black

(Image credit: Getty)

“We were going to do this whole joke about us looking similar,” Robbie said. “[But] once we got all dressed up as our Barbies, we were kind of like, ‘We don’t look that similar.’ When she’s got her brown hair, and I’ve got my blonde hair, so we didn’t put that joke in the movie.”

Margot Robbie in pink at a "Barbie" premiere

(Image credit: Getty)

Emma Mackey walking on the street

(Image credit: Getty)

Mackey has also addressed the twinning comparisons a few times, including in an interview with Total Film, where she called the lookalike theories “funny” and spoke of how the buzz impacted on-set dynamics while shooting Barbie: “Margot has had the grace and humor to be able to play on that and allow me to be in the same film as her—bless her,” Mackey said. “It’s just a joke in real life. I’m like, ‘We don’t look anything like each other.’ I don’t mind it. It’s Margot Robbie. Are you kidding me? She’s the best. I look up to her so much. I don’t mind the comparisons. But it would be nice to move past that.”

Closeup of Margot Robbie on the "Barbie" red carpet

(Image credit: Getty)

Emma Mackey in black on a red carpet

(Image credit: Getty)

Robbie also embraces the frequent comparisons, telling Buzzfeed “When people come up and say, ‘I loved you in Sex Education,’ I just say ‘Thank you. Thank you so much,’” she said.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.