‘Barbie’ movie: Iconic doll has ‘existential crisis’ about real world

By Rollo Ross and Danielle Broadway

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Margot Robbie recalls being at a rehearsal for the upcoming “Barbie” movie and experiencing an existential crisis.


Fortunately, lines from co-star America Ferrera’s character were exactly what she needed to hear while both portraying the iconic doll and being a producer of a $145 million movie.

“She was like ‘I release you from your assignment,'” Robbie said in an interview.

“I can’t tell you how much weight lifted off my shoulders weirdly when she said that,” Robbie added. “So I was like, ‘I’ve got to make this movie and it’s the biggest movie I’ve ever produced, and I’ve got to answer to two humongous corporations and a director I really respect and actors.””

“Barbie” plunges into the pink world of the globally famous Mattel doll, spearheaded by Warner Bros and directed by Greta Gerwig, an Academy Award nominee for her direction of “Lady Bird” in 2017.

Similar to Robbie’s existential crisis, the “Barbie” movie follows the doll who suddenly has an existential crisis in the middle of a dance number. That leads to a sequence of events that take her out of her perfect pink plastic world, forcing her into the real human world.

“Barbie” debuts on Friday and is expected to rake in more than $100 million in U.S. theaters in its first weekend.

Even though the Barbie doll first debuted in 1959, it has taken more than 60 years for the character to get to the big screen.

Robbie, however, feels the film’s message is an essential one for today’s audience.

“I think we’re putting a lot of expectations on ourselves to be everything and do everything and be perfect, like, this pursuit of perfection, which is impossible anyway,” Robbie said.

Rather than seeking perfection, her hope is for the movie to be a gift for “anyone” that allows them to let go of their worries and “just enjoy.”

For Canadian actor Ryan Gosling, who portrays the doll Ken, the film has something for everyone to appreciate.

“This movie is like an amusement park. It’s like, there’s a different ride for everyone, so everybody can have their own experience, and that’s the beauty of it. It’s kind of for everyone,” he told Reuters during the “Barbie” world premiere in Los Angeles.

(Reporting by Rollo Ross and Danielle Broadway; Editing by Mary Milliken and Jamie Freed)