As the buzz for the “Barbie” movie continues to grow, moviegoers will be surprised to learn that one of the earliest casting choices for the titular role of the iconic doll didn’t pan out.
Margot Robbie, star and co-producer of the film, told Vogue in an interview published this week that her choice for the role was none other than “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot. But even though she wasn’t available, the Israeli star ended up serving as something of a template by which Robbie and Greta Gerwig – who co-wrote and directs “Barbie” – made further casting decisions.
“Gal Gadot is Barbie energy,” Robbie said. “Because Gal Gadot is so impossibly beautiful, but you don’t hate her for being that beautiful because she’s so genuinely sincere, and she’s so enthusiastically kind, that it’s almost dorky. It’s like right before being a dork.”
That sincerity – which Gadot infused into her performance as Diana Prince a.k.a. Wonder Woman – extends to Robbie’s own portrayal of Barbie.
“I’m like, ‘Okay, she’s a doll. She’s a plastic doll. She doesn’t have organs. If she doesn’t have organs, she doesn’t have reproductive organs. If she doesn’t have reproductive organs, would she even feel sexual desire?’ No, I don’t think she could,” Robbie said in the Vogue interview.
“She is sexualized. But she should never be sexy. People can project sex onto her. Yes, she can wear a short skirt, but because it’s fun and pink. Not because she wanted you to see her butt.”
Robbie also shared a bit of her production company’s pitch to Mattel, and how she landed the rights to participate in making the new movie based on the brand’s most iconic product. Barbie was a property Robbie saw huge potential in, saying, “The word itself is more globally recognized than practically everything else other than Coca-Cola.”
“We of course would want to honor the 60-year legacy that this brand has,” Robbie said of her approach to the project. “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.”
That line of thinking clearly made it all the way into the movie itself, as evidenced by this week’s latest riotous trailer, which features title cards that promise, “If you love Barbie, this movie is for you. If you hate Barbie, this movie is for you.”
“Barbie” tiptoes into theaters on July 21.