It’s safe to say that Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Barbie has already become something of a phenomenon online — and it doesn’t even hit theaters until July 21. There were those paparazzi pics from Venice Beach, then a trailer followed by a series of cast posters and most recently, a dance single from the film’s pop superstar Dua Lipa, to name but a few of the film’s viral moments.
There’s another one — the trending #NotMyKen backlash to the casting of Ryan Gosling as Ken opposite Margot Robbie’s Barbie — and that’s what the actor has just opened up about in a new GQ cover story. There were online critics who questioned whether or not Gosling was perhaps too old or too weathered to play the role, and he says haters never cared in the first place.
“I would say, you know, if people don’t want to play with my Ken, there are many other Kens to play with,” Gosling tells the mag’s senior staff writer Zach Baron in the story that fronts GQ’s global summer issue. “It is funny…this kind of clutching-your-pearls idea of, like, #notmyken. Like you ever thought about Ken before this? 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.”
Ryan Gosling appears on the cover of GQ‘s global summer issue. Courtesy of Gregory Harris/GQ
In the wide-ranging conversation, Gosling also opens up on his career trajectory and how he has moved from critically-acclaimed indies to mainstream Hollywood fare, a run that continues with the upcoming Barbie and David Leitch’s The Fall Guy. “I’ve always wanted to do it,” Gosling says of the high-profile work. “I just never really had the opportunity like this, or it never kind of worked itself out this way. It took me a long time to get into sort of bigger, more commercial films. I had to kind of take the back entrance.”
Though he rarely talks about his romantic life, Gosling shares a bit about his life with wife Eva Mendes, saying that a four-year break from acting came as he “wanted to spend as much time” as he could with Mendes and their daughters. The brief hiatus also delivered a newfound perspective on the business.
“I treat it more like work now, and not like it’s, you know, therapy,” Gosling says. “It’s a job, and I think in a way that allows me to be better at it because there’s less interference.”
He also shared that while filming a lead role opposite Mendes in Derek Cianfrance’s 2012 film The Place Beyond the Pines, he realized he wanted to settle down. “I wasn’t thinking about kids before I met her, but after I met Eva, I realized that I just didn’t want to have kids without her. And there were moments on The Place Beyond the Pines where we were pretending to be a family, and I didn’t really want it to be pretend anymore. I realized that this would be a life I would be really lucky to have.”
More from Ryan Gosling’s GQ shoot. Courtesy of Gregory Harris/GQ