The upcoming “Barbie” movie almost starred a superhero as the iconic plastic doll.
In a new interview with Vogue, the film’s star Margot Robbie revealed that “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot had to turn down a role as one of the many Barbies seen in the movie.
“Gal Gadot is Barbie energy,” Robbie said. “Gal Gadot is so impossibly beautiful, but you don’t hate her for being that beautiful, because she’s so genuinely sincere, and she’s so enthusiastically kind, that it’s almost dorky.”
Gadot wasn’t available, but Robbie is in good company as Barbie. She’s joined by such stars as Issa Rae, Hari Nef, Emma Mackey, Dua Lipa, Sharon Rooney, Ana Cruz Kayne, Alexandra Shipp and Kate McKinnon.
By her side is Ken, played by Ryan Gosling, who accompanies Robbie’s Barbie into the real world.
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As seen in the new movie trailer, Barbie wonders why men are staring at her, hinting at Barbie being sexualized for the first time.
Robbie addressed that in the interview, describing her approach to playing a living doll.
“I’m like, OK, she’s a doll. She’s a plastic doll. She doesn’t have organs. If she doesn’t have organs, she doesn’t have reproductive organs. If she doesn’t have reproductive organs, would she even feel sexual desire?” Robbie said.
“No, I don’t think she could. She is sexualized. But she should never be sexy. People can project sex onto her. Yes, she can wear a short skirt, but because it’s fun and pink. Not because she wanted you to see her butt.”
The “Barbie” movie definitely plays with the idea of Barbie as she becomes more self-aware and goes through a bit of an existential crisis.
But Robbie admitted she wasn’t always the biggest Barbie fan.
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“I don’t think I did,” she said when asked if she had a Barbie as child. “I know my cousin had a bunch of Barbies, and I’d go to her house.”
“It wasn’t that I ever wanted to play Barbie, or dreamt of being Barbie, or anything like that,” the “Wolf of Wall Street” star continued.
“This is going to sound stupid, but I really didn’t even think about playing Barbie until years into developing the project.”
Robbie, who is also a producer on the film directed by Oscar-winner Greta Gerwig and co-written by her and her Oscar-nominated husband Noah Baumbach, knows there are some Barbie haters out there, and the trailer advertises that it’s for people who love and loathe the multifaceted doll.
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“We of course would want to honor the 60-year legacy that this brand has, but we have to acknowledge that there are a lot of people who aren’t fans of Barbie,” Robbie told Vogue.
She added, “And in fact, aren’t just indifferent to Barbie. They actively hate Barbie. And have a real issue with Barbie. We need to find a way to acknowledge that.”
Fan reaction online is already declaring “Barbie” “best movie of the year.”
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“If there was any doubt before, there isn’t any now: #Barbie is the movie of 2023,” wrote one fan.
“Barbie” is in theaters July 21.