She’s Literally Plastic!’ Greta Gerwig Hopes Her ‘Barbie’ Film Will Subvert Sexist Stereotypes

Top Image: Director Greta Gerwig attends the European premiere of “Barbie” in London, Britain July 12, 2023. © REUTERS/Maja Smiejkowska/File Photo

Greta Gerwig hopes ‘Barbie’ will subvert sexist stereotypes.

The 39-year-old filmmaker’s movie of the doll, starring Margot Robbie, 33, and Ryan Gosling, 42, as Barbie and Ken, has been hailed as a feminist take on the world of the picture-perfect toys, and the director says she wants it to make audiences question the idea of human perfection.

She told a special digital edition of Elle UK magazine: “(Barbie is) literally plastic. She’s unchanging. If you threw (her) out, she just wouldn’t disintegrate.

“If I could give that persona some humanity, some falling-apart-ness, that – in and of itself – would be meaningful.

“In this sort of double mirror of the movie, Margot Robbie is also a person we expect to be perfect. What does that mean that we also do that? Is she allowed to fall apart and be vulnerable?”

Greta added about being awoken to the fact she’ll never last forever like a doll: “I’m about to be 40 and there’s something about that where you’re like: ‘Oh! I’m properly middle aged now.’ All parts of life feel extremely activated.”

The director, who co-wrote ‘Barbie’ with her filmmaker husband Noah Baumbach, 53, also said about how the film was a “personal” project: “Even though it’s about Barbie, it felt incredibly personal.

“Just as personal as anything else I’ve made. It starts off in a place where there is no aging, no death, no shame, no separation.

Greta Gerwig directing Barbie wearing Pink Headphones, Barbie Movie,
Greta Gerwig hopes ‘Barbie’ will subvert sexist stereotypes © REUTERS/Bang Showbiz

“That’s an oldie but a goodie. Because I went to Catholic school, that story of Eve and Adam suddenly realising they are naked really stuck with me.”

Greta’s film sees Barbie’s perfect pink world of fashion, grooming and parties brought crashing down when she finds herself having dark thoughts about death.

She finds cellulite on her perfect legs and her famous arched feet suddenly become flat – and with the encouragement of the wise ‘Weird Barbie’ played by Kate McKinnon, 39, Barbie embarks on a journey of self-discovery in the real world, with Ken joining her for the ride.

Greta added to Elle: “My mom wasn’t crazy about Barbie. It wasn’t something that felt, necessarily, approved, which made it more intriguing.

“Part of the reason I think I was so intrigued (by this project) is because, not even intellectually, but from deep inside, I understand the counter-arguments. That feels rich.”


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