Ryan Gosling is telling off his “Barbie” critics who claim he’s too old to play Ken. Some younger “Barbie” fans have stormed social media after each photo and trailer drop for the movie to decry the casting of 42-year-old Gosling as Ken. A social media debate over Gosling’s age has even broken out among different generations of Barbie fans, as summarized earlier this year by The New York Post (in a story aptly titled “Gen Z ‘Barbie’ Fans Slammed for Calling Ryan Gosling Too ‘Old’ to Play Ken”).
What does Gosling think of the age criticism being lobbied against him? “I would say, you know, if people don’t want to play with my Ken, there are many other Kens to play with,” he recently told GQ magazine for a cover story.
“It is funny,” he added, “this kind of clutching-your-pearls idea of, like, #notmyken. Like you ever thought about Ken before this?”
Gosling noted that Ken’s entire existence has been to just enjoy the beach and not really exist for any sake other than to be Barbie’s guy.
“And everyone was fine with that, for him to have a job that is nothing,” Gosling said. “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 fucked 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.”
GQ noted that Gosling caught himself laughing while sounding off on his “Barbie” critics. The actor 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.’ ”
Directed by Greta Gerwig, “Barbie” teams up Gosling’s Ken with Barbie’s eponymous doll as they leave the toy world and enter the real world for purposes that Warner Bros. and the cast have yet to reveal. Gosling is not the only Ken actor in the film, as Simu Liu, Scott Evans, John Cena, Ncuti Gatwa and Kingsley Ben-Adir also appear as different iterations of the doll.
“Barbie” opens in theaters July 21.