While little is known about the plot of Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie,” the Mattel adaptation is one of the year’s most anticipated films — and a movie that nearly every Hollywood actor wishes they were in.
A series of viral set photos featuring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling dressed in meme-worthy Barbie and Ken outfits only added to the hype, and the film’s Kubrick-inspired teaser prompted even more speculation about the film’s story. As the film’s summer release date inches closer (it’s hitting theaters on the same weekend as Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” giving cinephiles a true Christmas in July), “Barbie” increasingly seems like the kind of cultural phenomenon that could turn its supporting cast into major stars.
So how did the film’s cast land their coveted roles? If you believe Hari Nef, it’s because she broke from the conventional Barbie doll stereotypes. In an interview with the New York Times, the actress explained that she thinks Gerwig cast her because she offered a brand of femininity that differed from the one dimensional characterization one might expect from a Barbie movie.
“I play a lot of bitches,” Nef said. “I’m no ingénue. I write, and a lot of the bitches I’ve played are also writers, thinkers. Smart. ‘Bitch’ is often a fill-in for intelligent, for articulate, for opinionated, queer, not conventionally feminine or not conventionally beautiful. I think the ‘Barbie’ stuff happened because I didn’t play bitchy and I didn’t play dumb and I didn’t play plastic in the audition.”
Gerwig has never been shy about praising Nef’s audition for the film. In a recent interview, the filmmaker recalled her overwhelmingly positive response to the actress’ audition tape.
“I saw Hari’s audition tape for ‘Barbie’ and just flipped out,” Gerwig said. “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.”
“Barbie” is set to hit theaters on Friday, July 21. For all the details about the film click here.