Ryan Gosling reveals why he originally turned down Barbie movie

In an interview with Variety , Ryan Gosling revealed that he initially turned down the role of Greta Gerwig in Barbie , for which he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

"There were practical reasons why I couldn't make the movie," he said. The actor also had "some trepidation" about playing a pop culture character, citing "things in his life" and scheduling conflicts, the interview reported.

Gerwig, however, has not given up hope of casting Gosling. "A few months later, I'd call my agent or whoever and say, 'Hey, who are they going to play Ken?'" he recalled. "They'd say, 'Greta said it was you.'"

The writer-director said she kept him in mind when creating the character, even writing "Ken Ryan Gosling" in her script notes. "I think one time I told him I saw the future and he was in it and he was Ken. It made him laugh, but I think secretly he also saw the same future," she said.

Greta Gerwig, Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling on stage at Warner Bros. Barbie LA special screening and Q&A. Eric Charbonneau/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Barbie star Margot Robbie, who also produced the film, confirmed that her co-star "completely gave up" on Ken at first, but that she, like Gerwig, was persistent.

"We just can't let this happen," she said. "There's just no other version. Greta and I are both very determined and persistent people, otherwise this movie would never have happened. Every time he said, 'I'm not going to do this,' we'd be like, 'We 're Do it, and it'll be fun.'"

How Margot Robbie convinced him

To convince Gosling to take the role, Robbie promised to give him a new gift every day during filming. "I bought him a gift every day and put it in his trailer, wrapped in pink and with a bow tie, and it said 'For Ken,'" she recalled.

None of the gifts were extravagant, but she said they were meaningful to his character, from a book about horses (Ken's favorite animal) to puka shells (the doll's beach accessory).

Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling attend the premiere of "Barbie" on July 9, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. Albert Ortega/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Robbie's efforts led Gosling to finally agree to make the film. "Eventually, I thought, 'Who am I to argue with Greta Gerwig and Margot?'" he recalled. "They believed I should do it, rather than I thought I shouldn't do it. At some point, I thought, 'They see something I don't see.'"

While Gosling didn't return the gesture to Robbie, he did pass it on to Robbie. Gerwig, who turned 40 on August 4, sent a surprise flash mob to her Pilates class and a bevy of Barbie dolls performed to Dua Lipa's "Dance." Dance the Night, Kens sang "I'm Just Ken". The director was so excited that he called the gift "so beautiful" before realizing who had sent the dancer.