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News / Life / Entertainment

‘Barbie’ star Robbie understands why people hate the toy

By Karu F. Daniels, New York Daily News
Published: May 28, 2023, 6:47am

Margot Robbie may be the star and executive producer of the forthcoming “Barbie” movie, but she admits she’s no expert on the subject matter. As a matter of fact, the Oscar-nominated actress says she never even owned one of the legendary Mattel toys.

For Vogue magazine’s Summer Issue cover story, published Wednesday, Australia-born Robbie revealed she had to visit relatives in order to play with the iconic doll. “I know my cousin had a bunch of Barbies, and I’d go to her house,” she shared.

Known for her roles in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “I, Tonya” and recent box office bomb “Babylon,” Robbie is getting all dolled up for the release of Hollywood’s latest big-screen toy story.

Directed by Greta Gerwig (the visionary behind Oscar-nominated dramas “Lady Bird” and “Little Women”), the “Barbie” movie tells the story of a doll from “Barbieland” who sets out for adventure because she’s seen as imperfect in her perfect land.

But while Robbie herself may visually seem like the perfect fit for the starring role, she said it wasn’t considered a dream role.

“It wasn’t that I ever wanted to play Barbie, or dreamt of being Barbie, or anything like that,” she said. “This is going to sound stupid, but I really didn’t even think about playing Barbie until years into developing the project.”

The former soap opera star, who’s been attached to the film since 2019, understands that there are some who don’t buy into what Barbie has largely represented since first being released in 1959. The doll has been scrutinized for its promotion of unhealthy body image and antiquated beauty ideals.

That iconography factored into how Robbie approached the movie: “We, of course, would want to honor the 60-year legacy that this brand has, but we have to acknowledge that there are a lot of people who aren’t fans of Barbie. And in fact, aren’t just indifferent to Barbie. They actively hate Barbie. And have a real issue with Barbie. We need to find a way to acknowledge that.”

Hitting theaters on July 21, “Barbie” stars Ryan Gosling as Robbie’s anatomically correct male counterpart Ken.

The all-star cast also included Issa Rae, Kate McKinnon, America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Michael Cera, Scott Evans, Rhea Pearlman, Alexandra Shipp, Will Ferrell and Kingsley Ben-Adir. Academy Award winner Helen Mirren and Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Dua Lipa also appear.