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FILM FACTS: 10 Things to Know About ‘Barbie’

Explore the pink, glamorous world of 'Barbie,' the movie! Discover 10 fascinating facts about this highly-anticipated film featuring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. From the iconic doll's big-screen debut to the star-studded cast, we're revealing all!

Get ready for a nostalgic yet thrilling ride back to your childhood! The 2023 blockbuster ‘Barbie’ promises a cinematic experience like no other, taking the iconic doll from playrooms into the heart of Hollywood. Starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, directed by Greta Gerwig, and produced at Warner Bros. Studios, ‘Barbie’ has created a buzz like no other. Here, we delve into behind-the-scenes secrets, interesting trivia, and fascinating film facts about ‘Barbie’. Get ready as we pull back the curtain on the making of this highly anticipated film, providing an intimate peek into the glamour, the glitz, and the iconic pink world of Barbie.

1. The Origin of an Icon

In March 1959, Ruth Handler, co-founder of Mattel, launched a doll at the American Toy Fair in New York City that would forever change the face of the toy industry. This doll was none other than Barbie, or ‘Barbara Millicent Roberts,’ named after Handler’s daughter and inspired by the German doll Bild Lilli. Unlike other dolls of the era, Barbie was an adult figure, shattering the long-standing notion that girls only wanted to mother baby dolls. Today, over 60 years later, Barbie remains the world’s top-selling doll – sometimes controversial, always cherished, and undeniably a cultural icon.

2. From Script to Screen

Cameras rolled on ‘BARBIE’ on March 21, 2022, at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden in Hertfordshire, England. The film’s dynamic directing duo, Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, crafted the screenplay during the pandemic’s onset, promising a unique spin on the Barbie tale.

3. The Creation of Barbie Land

Influences and Inspirations

During development, Gerwig drew inspiration from Peter Weir’s work on “The Truman Show,” specifically the authentically artificial feel of its setting, which she wanted to replicate for Barbie Land.

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Artificial Sunlight

The entirety of Barbie Land scenes were filmed indoors on soundstages at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden. The natural sunlight is only seen when Barbie and Ken arrive in Los Angeles.

4. Set Designs and Hidden Gems

Hand-Painted Panoramas

The scenic panorama outside the Mattel boardroom was a hand-painted masterpiece over 250 feet long. Keen observers will spot the Warner Bros. company logo and a painted Los Angeles, a subtle nod to “The Wizard of Oz.”

No Black or White

The set designs in Barbie Land shied away from solid black or white colors, contributing to the film’s unique visual appeal.

5. A New Spin on Classic Elements

Dance Sequences

The Barbie dance party sequence includes specific elements from Busby Berkeley’s “Gold Diggers,” one of Gerwig’s favorite films.

Iconic Vehicles

Barbie’s car and the Barbie ambulance are full-sized replicas of toy vehicles. The cars were operated using remote-controlled transmitters and VR drone technology, allowing Barbie to “drive” hands-free.

6. A Blend of Modern and Nostalgic

The Arrival in Los Angeles

When Barbie and Ken arrive in Los Angeles, Gerwig used “Midnight Cowboy” as a reference, specifically the sequence of Jon Voight walking through New York City, out of place.

DreamHouse Stunts

The Barbie DreamHouses were over 25 feet high, with Margot Robbie performing her own stunts, including jumping from the top of the house.

7. Star-Studded Production

Academy Award Accolades

The cast and crew of “Barbie” have a whopping 50 Academy Award nominations and eight Oscar wins between them.

Fun on Set

Inspired by “Mean Girls,” the crew was encouraged to wear something pink every Wednesday, a tradition that everyone took very seriously.

8. Margot Robbie, a Double-Threat in ‘Barbie’

Margot Robbie: The Powerhouse Producer

Greta Gerwig, the director and writer of ‘Barbie’ 2023, shed light on how Margot Robbie played an instrumental role in making the film a reality. Not only is Robbie the star of the movie, but she also proved to be a driving force behind the scenes. “Barbie came to me through Margot Robbie. Margot had gotten the rights, brought it to Warner Bros., and spearheaded this whole project,” Gerwig shared. This was a revelation to Gerwig, who knew Robbie as an accomplished actress but was delighted to discover her prowess as a producer. She expressed her admiration for Robbie’s intelligence, dedication, and intriguing insights.

Margot Robbie: The Ultimate Barbie

As for Robbie’s portrayal of the iconic Barbie, Gerwig couldn’t be more impressed. She refers to Robbie as the ‘Stereotypical Barbie’, embodying the qualities that come to mind when one thinks of the famous doll – beauty, cheerfulness, friendliness, and a sunny blonde appeal. However, it was Robbie’s ability to add layers to the character that truly captivated Gerwig. She emphasized, “And when you think of the most beautiful, cheerful, friendly, blonde lady you’ve ever seen, that’s Margot. But the thing I wanted to do most of all was to allow her to be outrageously funny. She’s the person you’re going to go on a real journey with in the movie and because she’s always able to make things grounded, relatable, and very emotional even when it’s ridiculously heightened and funny, you never feel like you lose the humanity.”

Robbie’s dual role as both a producer and actress in ‘Barbie’ truly showcases her versatility and commitment to her craft. These insights from Gerwig provide an exciting glimpse into what audiences can expect from this much-anticipated film.

9. Ryan Gosling, the Undisputed Choice for ‘Ken’ 

Ryan Gosling: The Chosen Ken

‘Barbie’ 2023 Director Greta Gerwig shared some interesting insights about casting the beloved actor Ryan Gosling in the iconic role of Ken. Gerwig revealed that the character of Ken was tailored specifically for Gosling. “We wrote this part specifically for Ryan Gosling. There was no plan B. It was always Ryan,” she affirmed.

Despite his lauded performances in dramatic roles, Gerwig was drawn to Gosling’s comedic talent, which she felt was an underexplored facet of his acting repertoire. She cited his appearances on ‘Saturday Night Live’ as evidence of his aptitude for humor. Gosling’s casting as Ken, therefore, was a perfect marriage of his dramatic prowess and comedic abilities. This specific choice made by Gerwig underlines her vision for ‘Barbie’ 2023, a movie that is as hilariously entertaining as it is emotionally resonant. It is a testament to Gosling’s versatility as an actor and promises a Ken like never before.

10. Fashion, Details and Music

Vintage Chanel

During the Barbie Land Supreme Court session, Margot Robbie wore a vintage Chanel suit previously worn by Claudia Schiffer.

Fingers without Rings

True to the classic Barbie doll’s design, Robbie’s Barbie character does not wear any rings on her fingers.

The Power of Music in ‘Barbie’

Music is a pivotal element in the ‘Barbie’ 2023 movie, with director Greta Gerwig underlining its importance in crafting the film’s narrative and ambiance. Gerwig shared, “There’s a lot of music in the movie—that was always super important to me. Barbie has a level of optimism that influenced us when we were writing the script, a sort of sincerity mixed with joyfulness meets a ‘doesn’t everybody just want to dance?” attitude.

The film’s soundtrack brings together a host of phenomenal artists. Mark Ronson, along with his partner Andrew Wyatt, curated the stellar line-up, which includes industry powerhouses like Dua Lipa, Lizzo, Nicki Minaj, Karol G, and many more. It’s a potent mix of talents that promises a euphonic feast for the audience.

More intriguingly, Ronson and Wyatt penned a catchy anthem for the character Ken, voiced by Ryan Gosling, adding another layer of entertainment to the movie. In addition to the score, the duo composed a heartfelt ballad that moved Gerwig to tears. The melodies from these compositions are beautifully interwoven into several scenes, creating an audio-visual experience that perfectly captures Barbie’s joyful spirit and the movie’s overall charm.

With this incredible blend of star power, acclaimed direction, and the enduring appeal of the iconic doll herself, “Barbie” promises to be a treat for fans of all ages. Whether you’re a longtime Barbie enthusiast or new to her world, this film is set to offer a captivating, glamorous, and fun-filled cinematic experience. Get ready for the magic of Barbie!

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