A few months back, I asked if it was too soon to call Barbie the most important movie of 2023. The answer was “no” then and it’s still “no” now, because never before in cinema history have Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling played Barbie and Ken, respectively, in a movie directed by three-time Oscar nominee Greta Gerwig. That’s history right there, you understand. But if my anticipation was a 10 out of 10, it’s now down to 9.5 after learning who was supposed to be in Barbie but had to bail due to a scheduling conflict.
“I was supposed to do a cameo because I live in London and they were [filming] there,” Saoirse Ronan told People. “There was a whole character I was going to play — another Barbie. I was gutted I couldn’t do it.” Her filming schedule for The Outrun made it impossible, but Ronan has since texted Robbie, her Mary Queen of Scots co-star, and Gerwig, who directed her in 2017’s Lady Bird and 2019’s Little Women, asking, “If you’re doing any pick-up [shots], maybe I can just walk through the background?”
What do Vito Corleone, the Joker, and Anita from West Side Story have in common? They’re the only characters to win Oscars with two different performers (Marlon Brando in The Godfather and Robert De Niro in The Godfather Part II, etc.). That’s impressive, but even more iconic would have been Robbie and Ronan, who have been up for a combined six Oscars, both receiving nominations for playing Barbie in the same year.
Ronan took pity on the competition, but it’s still a Barbie world — get used to it.
Barbie, which also stars Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon, America Ferrera, Alexandra Shipp, Emma Mackey, Michael Cera, Issa Rae, and Will Ferrell, opens on July 21, 2023.