Barbie actor Issa Rae, who plays President Barbie in the upcoming film directed by Greta Gerwig, recently shared how she would describe a Ken.
In an interview with Fandango’s Naz Perez, Rae, Kate McKinnon, America Ferrara, and Margot Robbie were asked, “What is a Ken? How does one spot a Ken?”
Robbie answered first saying, “That’s so funny because when we were like in prep for this movie, two of our wonderful producers, one of whom is also my husband, when David [Heyman] and Tom [Ackerley] would start talking about like Bitcoin or something. Like [director] Greta [Gerwig] and I’d be like, ‘They’re being such Kens.’ They talk about golf, we’re like, ‘Stop being Kens.'”
“So it’s hard to define what makes a Ken. But there can also be big Ken energy and that’s a good thing,” Robbie added. Ferrara then interjected, “As Ryan [Gosling] says Kenergy.”
Robbie continued, “Kenergy is not something you can define, it’s just something you can sense and know it.”
When Perez redirected the question to Issa Rae, she 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.”
McKinnon then said, “When I read the script I was like– I actually went to college with Greta, you guys, so I know that she’s a genius. I knew that even before any of her movies came out. … So I knew like how brilliant she was and when I heard she was doing the Barbie movie I was like, ‘What is this going to be?’ But I knew it going to be something and then I read it and was like about how like gender roles deny people half their humanity and how like we need to just like be ourselves. And it’s like a very powerful message.”
“And so like I spot a Ken, it’s just like everyone’s themselves, you know,” she concluded.
What do you make of Issa Rae’s comments about Ken and how she thinks men should act more like how she views the characters in the films?