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Ryan Gosling Found an Actual Ken Doll in His Backyard Before Accepting the Barbie Movie

"I shall be your Ken, for his story must be told," the Oscar-nominated actor told director Greta Gerwig.

By Christopher Rudolph

It's hard to remember a time before "Barbenheimer." Before we knew all of the words to "I'm Just Ken," or what a Mojo Dojo Casa House was.

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Watch The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on NBC weeknights at 11:35/10:35c and next day on Peacock

When Ryan Gosling visited The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in July 2022, it was a full year before Barbie became a billion-dollar box office hit. All we had back then was a photo of the Canadian heartthrob dressed as Ken.

"I was surprised how some people were kind of clutching their pearls about my Ken, as though they ever thought about Ken for a second before this," Gosling told Jimmy Fallon, referring to the public reaction to the first glimpse of him as Barbie's boyfriend. "They never played with Ken. Nobody plays with Ken. Did you play with Ken?"

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"He was available," answered Fallon. "He stayed in the toy box."

"He was an accessory, and not even one of the cool ones," said Gosling, who then revealed why he wanted to play Ken.

Ryan Gosling attends the press junket and photo call for "Barbie" at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles

Ryan Gosling reveals why he took the role of Ken in Barbie


After director Greta Gerwig offered him the role, Gosling went outside to his backyard to think it over. That's when he came across a Ken doll.

"You know where I found Ken? Facedown in the mud next to a squished lemon," he told Fallon.

"I texted [a picture of] it to Greta and I said, 'I shall be your Ken, for his story must be told.'"

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"What a cast by the way, cannot wait. Everyone you can think of," Fallon added. "It's going to be funny and awesome." 

Little did we know that Barbie would end up being the highest-grossing Warner Bros. movie of all time, cause a worldwide shortage of pink paint. And, of course, Gosling would eventually be nominated for an Academy Award for taking the part.

Going from facedown in the mud to the Oscars at the Dolby Theater, we are truly living in the Ken-aissance.