The first photo of Ryan Gosling as Ken in the ‘Barbie’ movie: love it or hate it?

The Barbie movie has already gone through some changes – at first, Amy Schumer was attached to play Barbie and she was working on the script or story too. But Schumer wanted the film to be more of a send-up or parody of everything Barbie represents, while Warner Bros wanted something… else. Once Schumer exited the movie, Margot Robbie came in as star and producer. Greta Gerwig is directing, and Gerwig and Noah Baumbach (her lover) wrote the script together.

In any case, I never really paid attention to the casting news beyond Margot. So I forgot until this moment that Ryan Gosling was cast as Ken. THE Ken. The blonde doll. Warners Bros released this photo of Gosling-as-Ken and everyone is obsessed with his peroxide hair and orange abs. I hope the script is smart and insightful – I would imagine it would be if Gosling agreed to this. I think the part I’m obsessed with the most is the fact that he has Ken-branded underwear? Like Calvin Klein, only Ken.

The rest of the cast is great too. The cast includes: Will Ferrell, Simu Liu, Nicola Coughlan, Kate McKinnon, America Ferrera and Emma Mackey (perhaps as a villainous brunette).

Some funny tweets about Ken are below. One of my faves was “He looks like a tik toker with allegations.” I also enjoyed all of “Yassified Gosling” stuff. Honestly, to me, he looks so skeevy as Ken, and not the “hot skeevy” way I usually enjoy. He genuinely looks like a U-haul Proud Boy.

Promotional photos courtesy of Warner Bros.

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72 Responses to “The first photo of Ryan Gosling as Ken in the ‘Barbie’ movie: love it or hate it?”

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  1. Lauren42 says:

    This movie looks like just the kind of terrible I’ll enjoy… as a streaming movie at home. I wonder how it will do in theaters?

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      No way I’m stepping in a theatre for this.
      Maybe streaming once it’s available without renting.

    • Jan90067 says:

      It really does look awful and campy. Will probably alternate as a midnight showing with Rocky Horror for college kids lol

      All I can think, seeing Gosling as Ken, is that he looks like a young Lloyd Bridges (Jeff and Beau’s dad, was in the Airplane movies as well as a long list of movies in the 50s, 60s, and 70s). He also did that great Seinfeld where he played the old man who challenged Jerry to lift weights 😄

      • Amanda says:

        “Mandelbaum! Mandelbaum!”

      • AuntRara says:

        I loved him in Cousins, which is a criminally underrated movie.

      • dj says:

        @AuntRara A shout out to Lloyd Bridges in Cousins! I agree about that movie being underrated. My husband and I have quote a few of his lines in it. “I’d rather have a case of the clap than a case of this wine…”(said Lloyd about the house wine). Hilarious!

      • AuntRara says:

        @dj It’s such a good movie! “You’ve got only one life to live. You can make it chicken shit or chicken salad.” Oh, my god and when he’s talking about not going into the church and says “God makes me nervous when you get him indoors.”

  2. C says:

    I’m thinking (hoping) this will be a surreal neon-acid trip and I’m here for it.

  3. Eurydice says:

    I think he looks awesome – exactly how a “come hither” look would be produced at a plastic toy company.

  4. Lila says:

    Creepy! But then Ken dolls themselves are that same flavor of bland creepy, so…nailed it?

  5. Abby says:

    Every movie is better with Ryan gosling in it. 100% will watch this. He looks awesome and I bet this’ll be fun.

  6. Zapp Brannigan says:

    My eighties era Ken doll was a brunette in a velvet tuxedo, so my mental reference would be Matt Bomer. I don’t know how I feel about this Ken.

    • Noki says:

      OMG you are totally in my head. I too was saying Matt was theee person to play Ken and I never had such a blonde Ken in my life.

      • whatever says:

        I was talking with my friend about who should have been cast as Ken instead (because we both think Gosling looks WRONG) and Matt Bomer was one of the names that came up. But ultimately we both agreed that it should have been Antony Starr. He is the living physical embodiment of a Ken doll.

    • C says:

      I had a couple Kens with that mustardy-blonde head. But I focused more on the weird Barbies, like the one in a nightgown where you could put a wet washcloth on her eyes and it would transform to eyes closed; I would leave the washcloth on just enough to make her eyes look like this terrifying awake/sleeping hybrid.
      Also the Cut N Style Barbie where I wanted to cut her hair so bad and then I did and it was super anticlimactic because the hair was now gone, lol.

      • Erin says:

        I was born in ‘81 and I had one mustard hair Ken I think, he was the one that was in the group with three other Barbies and they all had boom boxes that played different beats. How annoying that my mom had to listen to them all day lol. I had the whole set. I also had the brunette with the velvet suit like the commenter above but he was older. I never really wanted the Ken dolls though and I never got a ken doll with real hair. I did however have Gem’s boyfriend Rio, and he had real dark purple hair.

    • LittleRed says:

      Same! Day-to-night Ken

      • Zapp Brannigan says:

        Yes, thank you! It was day-to-night Ken, my Ken would gad about town with Snow Princess Sindy. I always suspected Barbie was a snotty cow but Sindy was someone you could gossip with over drinks.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      TBH a young Freddie Prinze Jr could easily have played Ken as the side by side shows – Fred in those Scoobie Doo movies was always a Ken doll wannabe to me.

    • BrainFog 💉💉💉😷 says:

      Matt bomer! Perfect! He absolutely has 100% the right face for this, also the correct hair colour. Never seen a blonde Ken before. I’m an old LOL

      • Lux says:

        Matt Bomer, Zac Efron, Armie Hammer (yuck I know, but the sock fits)…literally anyone but Ryan, who has odd features/proportions that look strangely hot together. I know he’ll be great though; he does ditzy well. And this Ken looks like he’s been through some rough play so that will be fun.

    • Kimmy says:

      I had one blonde Ken growing up, but I traded him for my friend’s Jordan Knight doll!

    • CocofromCanada says:

      Dream Date Ken?

  7. Noki says:

    Why do i remember the Ken doll being brown or dark haired. Unless i was given a fake one growing up. Lol

    • Msmlnp says:


      No shame in the 80s version of “” Barbie/Ken. I remember going over a friends house and realizing I had budget Barbies.

    • Flo FLo says:

      I remember Ken being brunette. I think my Ken doll was a dark haired. Ugh, maybe I’m just old

      • yvrjanice says:

        Just like Malibu Barbie, there was Malibu Ken, a blondie.
        Personally, I had the Ken where you could attach different beards and mustaches on and he was a brunette. The hairpieces never stuck on for longer than 1 minute though.

    • BrainFog 💉💉💉😷 says:

      Because they WERE dark-haired back in the days. When I grew up (80s/90s) we didn’t have any blonde Kens.

    • The Recluse says:

      I vaguely remember having a Ken doll and had a couple of Barbies over the years, but my favorite was Francie. I even had a Malibu Tan Skipper. I just related more to her than the va-voom Barbie. My G.I. Joe hung out with my Francie doll. Ken gathered dust.

      • SomeChick says:

        I had growing up Skipper! talk about weird!!! you rotate her arm and she grows b00bs. yes really. too bad I don’t still have her, she’s probably super collectible at this point.

  8. Kirsten says:

    Simu Liu’s agent said it’s one of the best scripts he ever read: “He was like, ‘If I could stake my career on any one script, it’s the Barbie script. I really think you should do it.'”

  9. Call Me Mabel says:

    All I can think when I see both those photos is “Are ya ready Barbie?” “Okay, Ken!”

    Also, what does Patricia Heaton think of this?

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Hahahaha – I PRAY that they feature that Aqua song. Please please make it happen movie gods!!!

      ‘Hiya, Barbie
      Hi, Ken
      You want to go for a ride?
      Sure, Ken
      Jump in

      • Call Me Mabel says:

        Yes, that’s it! LoL. Major major flashbacks to the Barbie Girl music video.

  10. girl_ninja says:

    I’m so glad that Amy Schumer has no part in this film anymore. Ryan looks plastic and fantastic. Scott Evans is in the Barbie movie too!

  11. mellie says:

    This photo makes me laugh so hard, I don’t know how actors get “in character” for some of this crap….

  12. Digital Unicorn says:

    Given that Robbie and Gosling are playing the titular roles its def a movie worth seeing – I fully expect it to be cheesy AND funny.

    As for Gosling, am looking forward to his Ken – not sure about the hair but otherwise all good from me. Margot is the perfect choice for Barbie. And as she is producing it, am expecting shades of I, Tonya.

  13. Roxy says:

    His face looks too…. long I guess? Idk I just always imagined Ken with a square jaw. But I guess they picked him since he can actually act but if the casting was based on looks alone I would probably pick Scott Eastwood or Garrett Hedlund. Pretty but masculine.

    Anyway don’t think I’ll watch it in a movie theater since I’m not entirely convinced it’s going to be worth it. I mean they couldn’t even get Barbie Girl by Aqua, how good could it be?

    • JanetDR says:

      My first thought was Chris Pine, because I would think the square jaw would be essential! But there’s something about the Gosling photo that promises a funny movie.

      • Noki says:

        Ryans PR has always been to convince the masses he is some type of looker but really he is just a normal looking guy. He is no Brad in his prime or Paul Walker. He kinda looks like a young Jay Leno.

  14. Denise says:

    He’s too old to play Ken

    • Julia K says:

      That’s because Ken IS old. 1960′ s old.

      • LP says:

        If this is a meta send up on Barbie and Ken, then I’m totally on board- I know Simu Liu is playing another version of Ken, as is Ncuti Gatwa, and Issa Rae and Hari Nef are also playing Barbies….maybe some
        timely racial or LGBTQ commentary?

    • Kirsten says:

      He’s only 41.

      • Thoughts says:

        OMG, I love that first tweet!

        Someone online wrote that he looked like Liberace and Kim Kardashian had a son, and now I can’t get that image out of my head! LOL

    • Jai says:

      I agree. I like Ryan as an actor, but he is way too old for this.

  15. CROWHOOD says:

    Thanks I hate it!

  16. Zoochy says:

    This looks like an SNL sketch.

  17. Sue E Generis says:

    Ken looks rough. That’s all I’ve got.

  18. Jo says:

    I am surprised that no one is highlighting the fact that it is directed by Gerwig and Birmbaum. I can’t just be a plastic silly show, it’s going to be quirky fantastic for sure. I am VERY curious.
    I was never a Gosling aficionada so not super stoked about it but I will certainly watch it.

  19. DuchessL says:

    Ryan makes everything cool. I wanna see it.

  20. CopyPesto says:

    Kel Graham Knight hasn’t aged a bit.

  21. WiththeAmerican says:

    Get off my lawn Barbie movie. This looks horrid to me and he makes me slightly sick to my stomach as Ken. I am the outlier obviously.

  22. L says:

    It looks cringy but Gosling rarely misses & makes pretty good choices with his work so I’m gonna assume this will actually be great.

  23. Div says:

    Hot take:

    Greta is very talented, the idea of a campy Barbie film sounds fun, and this…also sounds like a mess. The cast seems overstuffed, the “main” stars/barbie/ken being white and the non main ones being non-white/POC seems like a white person’s idea of diversity and the potential to be very cringe, and Ryan, while not being ageist, simply looks like an aging WeHo twink in this get up. No, he’s not old-he’s only around 40-but he does look too old for this get up, sorry not sorry, imo, and he looks substantially older than Margot even if she’s only about a decade younger.

  24. CommentingBunny says:

    I am here for this! The pic alone made me laugh out loud. I think the movie is going to be awesome and I’m not quite sure why? I just know I can’t wait to see it.

  25. Thoughts says:

    OMG, I love that first tweet!

    Someone wrote he looked like Liberace and Kim Kardashian had a son, and now I can’t get that image out of my head! LOL!

  26. ME says:

    I heard this movie is going to be nothing anyone would expect. I bet it ends up being a psychological thriller where Barbie murders Ken or something.

  27. Beach Dreams says:

    There’s something off-putting about both of the pictures they’ve released to promote this movie…I can’t quite put my finger on it though.

    • Thoughts says:

      I agree that something’s off. For me it’s the background and the bad wigs.
      It might be a parody, or a live action version of something like Toy Story, or some type of social commentary like Stepford Wives. But there is something too plastic and almost sinister in Ryan’s pic.

  28. Vera says:

    I’m off to see Aqua this weekend, and their version in Barbie Girl is the best

  29. ml says:

    Except for the hairstyle, it’s giving me the Young Hercules version of Gosling. He was insanely orange for that show.

  30. Bisynaptic says:

    He’s too old.

  31. Christine says:

    “new hillsong pastor just dropped”

    I laughed so hard, I peed a little.

  32. Remy says:

    I like Ryan and all, but they should have cast Glen Powell as ken. Dude looks like a plastic doll. Second choice would be Chris Pine.