Ryan Gosling Responds to the Backlash to Him Playing Ken in the 'Barbie' Movie: "Like You Ever Thought About Ken Before This?"

Tell 'em, Ryan.

Ryan Gosling speaks onstage as he promotes the upcoming film "Barbie" during the Warner Bros. Pictures Studio presentation during CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners, at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on April 25, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Image credit: Photo by Ethan Miller / Getty)

Ryan Gosling is starring as the Ken to Margot Robbie's Barbie in Greta Gerwig's much-anticipated Barbie movie, and I, personally, cannot imagine a better casting choice.

Unfortunately, Gosling's Ken has received quite a lot of backlash online, with people saying that—at 42—the actor is too "old" to play the fictional himbo doll. (Ken's job, I have just learned, is simply "beach," whatever that means.)

The Notebook star was asked about the backlash in a new interview with GQ, and he said, "I would say, you know, if people don’t want to play with my Ken, there are many other Kens to play with." Simple enough!

Later on in the interview, Gosling added, "It is funny, this kind of clutching-your-pearls idea of, like, #notmyken. Like you ever thought about Ken before this?"

Referencing the fact that the doll's job was "beach," he continued, "And everyone was fine with that, for him to have a job that is nothing.

"But suddenly, it’s like, 'No, we’ve cared about Ken this whole time.' No, you didn’t. You never did. You never cared. Barbie never f***ed with Ken. That’s the point.

"If you ever really cared about Ken, you would know that nobody cared about Ken. So your hypocrisy is exposed. This is why his story must be told."

If Gosling sounds like he's getting a bit defensive at this point, it's because he is. He added, "I care about this dude now. I’m like his representative. 'Ken couldn’t show up to receive this award, so I’m here to accept it for him.'"

I'm not gonna lie, I love this so much.

The Barbie movie—which dropped a new trailer just last week—is set for release on July 21, during peak blockbuster season. Of course.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.