Ryan Gosling is determined to bring justice to Ken dolls with his role in Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” movie. He knows exactly how overlooked Ken has been over the years — even if the first look photo of himself as the character just about broke the internet.
Appearing on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” Thursday in support of Netflix’s “The Gray Man,” Gosling addressed that photo directly, noting that he was a bit taken aback by how people cared so much about it, considering it seems like no one’s ever really had strong feelings on Ken.
“I was surprised how some people were kind of clutching their pearls about my Ken, as though they ever thought about Ken for a second before this,” Gosling said. “They never played with Ken!”
The actor then pushed Fallon himself on the matter, pointedly asking if the host ever played with Ken as a kid. Fallon confirmed he didn’t. “Exactly,” Gosling said. “He’s an accessory, and not even one of the cool ones.”
When Fallon dug in on why exactly Gosling took the role, the actor noted that Gerwig’s writing for the movie was the “best script I’ve ever read.” But really, there was one final straw of disrespect to Ken that ended up pushing him into taking the role.
Recounting the story of when Gerwig first approached him for the role, Gosling admitted that he needed some time to think about it. In doing so, he went into his backyard — only to find his children’s Ken doll lying face down in the mud next to a crushed lemon. So, he took a photo, and crafted his response.
“I texted it to Greta and I said, ‘I shall be your Ken. For his story needs to be told,'” Gosling said.
You can watch the full interview from “The Tonight Show” in the video above.