Greta Gerwig ‘Flipped Out’ Over Hari Nef’s ‘Barbie’ Audition: ‘That Is Our Movie’

Nef perfectly encapsulated the tone of the Mattel-produced movie — "knowing but not snarky, buoyant but not vapid" according to writer-director Gerwig.
Greta Gerwig, Hari Nef
Greta Gerwig, Hari Nef

Forget about the dream house: Writer/director Greta Gerwig is building the “Barbie” cast of her dreams.

After Simu Liu’s dance moves landed him a role in the highly anticipated Mattel-produced comedy, Gerwig revealed “And Just Like That” scene-stealer Hari Nef was cast after she perfectly set the tone for the winking upcoming film.

“I saw Hari’s audition tape for ‘Barbie’ and just flipped out,” Gerwig told Vogue. “I ran into the producer’s office with a computer and pressed play and said, ‘That is it. That is our movie.’ She had a joyfulness and playfulness and twinkling intelligent humor, which was exactly the tone: knowing but not snarky, buoyant but not vapid.”

Nef, a trans woman, also has a personal connection to Barbie dolls herself.

“Barbies were provided for me willingly by a mother who understood me,” the “Idol” star explained. “But I still knew when we were at Toys ‘R’ Us that I was doing something a little odd.”

“Barbie” producer and lead star Margot Robbie previously revealed that the film’s plot, which has been mostly kept under wraps, will certainly subvert expectations while still harkening back to the nostalgic childhood love for the dolls.

“But with that come a lot of exciting ways to attack it,” Robbie formerly said to British Vogue. “People generally hear ‘Barbie’ and think, ‘I know what that movie is going to be,’ and then they hear that Greta Gerwig is writing and directing it, and they’re like, ’Oh, well, maybe I don’t…'”

“Barbie” stars Robbie as the titular doll who escapes her fantasy world only to find herself overwhelmed by reality. Ryan Gosling plays Ken, and Will Ferrell is the CEO of a toy company rumored to be modeled off of Barbie manufacturer Mattel, who also produces the film. Rumor has it that Nef may be playing another Barbie alongside Saoirse Ronan, with co-stars Liu as an alternate Ken.

At least we do know that “Barbie” will feature at least one dance sequence: Liu confirmed that “Barbie” is not a musical, but that the film is “wild” and “incredibly unique.”

“I wish I could just show you what we do day to day because it’s crazy,” he said.

For all the details on “Barbie,” click here.

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