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Ryan Gosling Is Feeling the Kenergy

Leading up to the Barbie film in July, Gosling feels a connection to oft-forgotten Ken doll.

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Image: Gabe Ginsberg / Stringer (Getty Images)

In a new interview with GQ, Ryan Gosling takes the interviewer on a train ride and for a long time, they just talk. While the Barbie film is obviously the reason this profile is getting published now, the interview touches on his earlier roles, his break from Hollywood, and his family life. But we’re here for Barbie. And so is Ken.

Ken is an accessory. He’s Barbie’s boyfriend, he’s her houseboy, he’s hers. Barbie is never Ken’s. Which is exactly the kind of vibes you get from Gosling when you read this profile. None of this should be about him, but by virtue of casting, talent, and a more than a little bit of charm, here he is. Ken’s job, Gosling said “is beach. For 60 years, his job has been beach. What the fuck does that even mean?”


When asked why he took the role, Gosling stated that he was excited to work on a project that centered women. He also mentions that his children–two daughters–play with Barbie and Ken. “I did see [Ken], like, face down in the mud outside one day, next to a squished lemon and it was like, This guy’s story does need to be told, you know?” He said in the interview, re-confirming the story that he had told on Jimmy Kimmel nearly a year ago.

Image for article titled Ryan Gosling Is Feeling the Kenergy
Screenshot: Jimmy Kimmel Live

While Gosling is eager to deflect attention from himself, he said in the profile that he’s starting to feel a kinship with Ken. A Kenship. “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.’ ” He mentions that there were some people who weren’t exactly thrilled that he was cast to play Ken. Gosling doesn’t seem too bothered,“If people don’t want to play with my Ken, there are many other Kens to play with.”

He does mention that the whole idea of people upset that he was cast seems a little absurd. It’s as if there was a whole movement “kind of clutching-your-pearls idea of, like, #notmyken. Like you ever thought about Ken before this? And everyone was fine with [Ken’s job being ‘beach’], for him to have a job that is nothing. But suddenly, it’s like, ‘No, we’ve cared about Ken this whole time’.” This is where Gosling seems to have the most verve in the entire profile, which is a rather sedate, charming look at a man who loves his family, his job, and Ken; in that order.

“No, you didn’t. You never did. You never cared,” he continued. “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.”

Read the full profile on GQ. Barbie comes out in theaters on July 21.

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