It Was Ryan Gosling’s Idea to Perform the Ballad ‘I’m Just Ken’ Onscreen in the Upcoming ‘Barbie’ Movie

The song’s producer Mark Ronson called Gosling a “vocal powerhouse.”

Ryan Gosling on the red carpet for "Barbie"
(Image credit: Getty)

Ryan Gosling just wanted to sing, everybody! Mark Ronson, the music producer of the song “I’m Just Ken” from the upcoming Barbie movie, revealed, per People, that the idea to do the ballad performance was Gosling’s, and that director Greta Gerwig rewrote an entire scene so “vocal powerhouse” Gosling could perform the song.

“You really fall in love with this hapless, but immediately sympathetic, figure,” Ronson told Vanity Fair.

Ronson’s inability to find a Ken doll in a sea of Barbies at a toy store is what inspired him to write the power ballad “I’m Just Ken” in the first place. Ronson, who is also the executive producer for the Barbie soundtrack, told Vanity Fair that one of the song’s lyrics, “I’m just Ken / Anywhere else I’d be a 10” came to him instantly. 

Ryan Gosling on the red carpet for "Barbie"

(Image credit: Getty)

“It just seemed funny,” he said. “It felt a little bit emo, like, ‘This poor guy. He’s so hot but can’t get the time of day.'"

When Gosling first heard the demo of the song, he was such a fan that he not only agreed to sing the track for the soundtrack but wanted to perform it on film. Ronson said he was worried about how Gerwig might react, but she agreed with Gosling, and liked the ballad so much that she rewrote a pivotal scene in the movie so that Gosling could belt to his heart’s content in the film.

Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie look at one another on the red carpet

(Image credit: Getty)

Ronson called Gosling a “vocal powerhouse”: “He really got [that] it had to walk the line of not being funny or parody,” he said. “But obviously, the song is also kind of ridiculous at times. So he was really amazing, and when he really did start hitting the big notes, I was like, ‘This dude is a vocal powerhouse!’”

Ryan Gosling at a press junket for "Barbie"

(Image credit: Getty)

If you’re dying to see Gosling perform the tune, you’re in luck—it is featured in a new sneak peek from the movie, which is out July 21.

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.