Actress Kate McKinnon, who stars in the upcoming Barbie movie, recently explained the film is “about how gender roles deny people half their humanity.”
McKinnon’s comments came amid an interview alongside fellow actresses Margot Robbie, America Ferrera, and Issa Rae with Fandango correspondent Naz Perez.
Perez began the interview asking Robbie to provide some more details about her comments to BAFTA where she revealed her first reaction to the Barbie script was, “The first time I read the Barbie script, my reaction was, ‘Ah! This is so good. What a shame it will never see the light of day. Because they are never going to let us make this movie.”
Robbie said, “I thought exactly like, ‘This is genius and they’re never going to let us make it. What a shame. This is all going to go to waste.’ Just because I think it’s a little more unexpected. It’s not just that the movie is unexpected, I think it’s like Greta kind of pushes it in directions that I didn’t think they would let us go in and I think a big part of that was acknowledging the things that people find problematic about Barbie as well as the things that people love about Barbie.”
“And to be able to do both whilst also kind of having a relevant conversation about where the world is today and then also be acknowledging like this long 60+ year history,” she continued. “It’s just a lot of things to do at once and she does it so deftly and ultimately the whole experience is still fun. Like it’s so fun and weirdly emotional.”
“And at the end of it all, you’re not even really thinking about a doll you’re thinking about what it means to be alive in the world and it gets unexpectedly deep,” Robbie explained.
Robbie then shared, “The reason I didn’t think they’d let us make it, honestly, is because the Mattel CEO is like a main character, Mattel itself is a character, and I just thought, ‘They’re never going to agree to this.'”
“And then there was a lot of jokes in there that I was like, ‘They’re not going to let us get away with that.’ But they did,” she concluded.
Later in the interview when the discussion turned toward how they identify a Ken, Issa Rae said, “I think a Ken for me is just kind of there. I think a Ken is just a great accessory. That’s what I loved about Greta’s imagining of Barbie is that the Ken’s are just supplemental characters to these Barbies while Barbies can do everything Kens are there to kind of support and don’t necessarily have their own story.”
She added, “And I think that’s not necessarily a negative thing. It’s incredibly strong for men to be in supportive roles and to support the greatness that is women/Barbie.”
Kate McKinnon then revealed the script is “about how like gender roles deny people half their humanity and how like we need to just like be ourselves and it’s a like a very powerful message.”
When attempting to explain how she identifies a Ken she said, “And so like I spot a Ken, everyone’s themselves, you know.”
Barbie arrives in theaters on July 21st. It is directed by Greta Gerwig.
What do you make of the comments made by Robbie, Rae, and McKinnon?