“I’m Just Ken” almost had a much smaller role in Greta Gerwig’s record-breaking Barbie.
In a new featurette promoting the film’s release on streaming, Gerwig, music producer Mark Ronson, Ryan Gosling, Ncuti Gatwa and more of the cast and crew opened up about the making of the now-hit song. It portrays the climax of the storyline as the Kens battle on the Malibu beach.
“It went from being this song that was maybe gonna be played somewhere in the film to this song that they built this epic battle around,” Ronson said, explaining that when Gerwig asked him to write Gosling’s Ken song, he “instantly knew” what it should be.
Once he wrote the initial version, Gerwig wanted more. “[She’s] like, ‘We love that song — actually, can you make it longer?’” he explained. “So we’re essentially scoring 11 minutes just around the Ken song.”
Elsewhere in the three-minute video, the writer-director shared that for the beach-off scene, she was inspired by The Nutcracker, which she loved growing up.
“The battle between the toy soldiers and the rats, the absurdity of it, that is something I was thinking about when we were creating this battle,” the Oscar nominee said.
Gosling and Gatwa, who play two different Kens in the hit film, explained how the men don’t fully understand what they’re doing in the long scene toward the end of the film and how their opinions of what battles are or how they work are very limited.
“They have zero information about what war is,” Gosling said. “It’s like the telephone game from the real world. It’s been distorted by the time it gets back to them, and they’re just kind of doing their best, but it’s really the worst.”
Barbie is now available for rent online.