Ryan Gosling wants audiences to 'see the man behind the tan' in 'Barbie' ballad 'Just Ken'

Ryan Gosling wants audiences to ‘see the man behind the tan’ in ‘Barbie’ ballad ‘Just Ken’

Ken doesn’t know who he is without Barbie in Ryan Gosling’s single for the upcoming film directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie Barbie movie.

The long-teased song “Just Ken” finds Barbie’s longtime boyfriend grappling with what it’s like to be “number two” in his relationship with the iconic Mattel doll. The minute-and-a-half look at the song not only features new footage of Gosling’s Ken and Robbie’s Barbie, but also a larger look at a group dance number featuring all of the Kens from the film.

The ballad’s lyrics have Gosling emotionally dealing with the fact that the doll is “always number two” and like elsewhere it would be a 10, but here it’s “only Ken”.

Related stories

“Is it my destiny to live a life of blonde fragility?” Gosling’s Ken wonders as this “Beach Ken” is tossed in the air after trying to surf. “What will it take for her to see the man behind the tan and fight for me.”


Talking with GQ magazine After the initial backlash to Gosling’s casting as Ken, the actor spoke about how little Barbie’s boyfriend was actively factored into the toy’s history.

“I would say, you know, if people don’t want to play with my Ken, there are plenty of other Kens to play with,” he said. “It’s funny,” she started, “this kind of idea of ​​clutching your pearls of, like, #notmyken. How did you ever think about Ken before this?

“And everyone was fine with that, for him to have a job which is nothing,” she added. “But suddenly, it’s like, ‘No, we’ve been worrying about Ken all this time.’ No you did not. You never have. You never cared. Barbie has never fucked Ken. That’s the point. If you really cared about Ken, you’d know that nobody cared about Ken. So your hypocrisy is exposed. That’s why his story needs to be told.”

In a more recent interview with Vanity Fair, Ronson reveals that the song wasn’t written with Gosling in mind, and was given to him at the actor’s instigation to perform in the film. Gerwig then rewrote a scene at the end of the film, before asking Ronson and Andrew Wyatt to write a score leading up to the song.

Gosling recorded the song in London, with legendary Slash and new Foo Fighters drummer Josh Freese performing on the track. Ronson said he didn’t have to make pitch changes for the actor who played all the notes as written. “He really understood (that) he had to walk this line of not being funny or parody,” the producer said. “But of course, the song is also a little ridiculous at times. So that was really cool, and when he really started hitting the big notes, I was like, this dude is a vocal powerhouse!

Full Barbie The film’s soundtrack, which also features songs by Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice, will be released by Atlantic on July 21.