Ryan Gosling Was 'Surprised' by Viral Response to His Ken Photo from Barbie Movie

Ryan Gosling may be on a promotional tour for his new film with Chris Evans, “The Gray Man,” but he’s definitely spent as much time talking about “Barbie” as the project he’s supposed to be pitching.

It’s not that Gosling is going out of his way to talk about the mysterious Greta Gerwig film he stars in alongside Margot Robbie. It’s just that each and every time any picture from the film shoot gets released, snapped or leaked, it promptly breaks the internet.

No picture broke the web harder than the first look at Gosling all gussied up as Barbie’s number one “accessory,” Ken. And the strong, visceral reaction from some quarters was more than a little unexpected for Gosling.

The actor confronted the picture, and those reactions, during an appeared on “The Tonight Show” Thursday night. When Jimmy Fallon propped up the picture, Gosling said he was “surprised” by some of the reactions when it first dropped.

“I was surprised how, you know, some people were kind of clutching their pearls about my Ken,” he said. “As if they ever thought about Ken for a second before this.”

The girl dads started laughing about how Ken is little more than an “accessory” for Barbie, with Gosling adding, “And not even one of the cool ones.” The cool ones, of course, being the car and that epic Dreamhouse.

When Gosling admitted he’d tried and failed to build a Dreamhouse for his kids, Fallon quipped, “I want to sue Mattel.” He went on to say that it was such an ordeal to build this thing that “now we live in it.”

Fallon then shared a Vanity Fair article, speculating that Gosling may have agreed to take on the role of Ken because of his love and penchant for jean jackets. They even had shots all the way back to his childhood sporting the look.

“Did you bring me on your show to denim-shame me? Is that what this is?” Gosling asked Fallon. “There’s no denim shame in my game, man.”

It wasn’t the jean jacket, though. It was a hilariously bizarre “sign” that finalized the deal, with Gosling also saying that “Barbie” is the “best script I ever read.” Considering how little we know about the actual story of the film, it’s just another intriguing detail.

Even Gosling played coy when asked what it was about, instead saying that Ken doesn’t have money or a house or a car or a job. But he then said those aren’t plot points, that’s just Ken, thus the “accessory” jokes.

No, the actual reason he finally decided to do the film was captured in a photo he took in his own backyard. Fallon showed a snap of it as Gosling shared the story.

“I walk out in the backyard, and do you know where I found Ken?” he asked. “Facedown in the mud next to a squished lemon.” And it was literally a Ken doll, lying on the ground like garbage. “The utter disrespect,” Fallon said.

“I texted it to Greta and said, ‘I shall be your Ken. For his story must be told.'”

Honestly, at this point, we hope no one spoils what this film will actually be about. The cryptic comments and even the gravitas with which Gosling is talking about the character of Ken, and the abuse he’s suffered by the public for so many years is enticement enough. We want to know his story, too, Ryan!

Currently in production, “Barbie” is targeting a 2023 release date. The film also stars Simu Liu as “another Ken,” as well as Will Ferrell, America Ferrera, Emma Mackey, Michael Cera, Kate McKinnon, Alexandra Shipp and more.

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