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Greta Gerwig Explains Why All Background Actors on ‘Barbie’ Are Dancers

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“Greta Gerwig Shares the Vision Behind ‘Barbie’ and the Choice to Cast Dancers as Background Actors

In the mesmerizing world of Barbie, where plastic meets fantasy, creating the perfect ambiance requires meticulous effort. Director Greta Gerwig, known for her acclaimed film ‘Lady Bird,’ recently shed light on her creative process and the decisions she made to infuse vibrancy into the world of Barbie, portrayed by Margot Robbie, and her companion Ken, played by Ryan Gosling. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gerwig discussed her intentions and the reasoning behind her choice to exclusively hire dancers as background actors.

Gerwig emphasized the importance of making every aspect of Barbie Land come alive. To achieve a distinct atmosphere in a world populated by live-action dolls, the director opted to engage dancers as background actors. She explained that this decision was inspired by the captivating movements and expressions of background dancers in musicals, even when they remain still:

“I wanted the characters to move and behave in a heightened manner, while still avoiding a sketch-like quality. Soundstage musicals such as ‘Oklahoma!’ or ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ possess a unique quality in the way people carry themselves. So, all the Barbies and Kens you see on the beach [and in other dance sequences] exhibit a different presence. Our choreographer pointed out that dancers naturally have a distinct physicality that sets them apart from ordinary individuals. Thus, in conceiving Barbie Land, we aimed to recreate the ambiance of a soundstage musical.”

Initial Reactions to ‘Barbie’ Praise Its Heartfelt Camp and Overblown Fun, Infused with Feminist Themes

What Awaits in Barbie’s World

As the trailers have teased, Barbie promises a clear dichotomy. In one realm, we witness the carefree existence of Barbie and Ken in Barbie Land. However, their lives take an unexpected turn when they discover the illusory nature of their world and venture into reality, where they encounter humans and the entity responsible for their creation, Mattel. The collision between these two distinct worlds and the consequences of Barbie’s revelation will unfold in the coming weeks.

The star-studded cast of Barbie includes talented actors like Issa Rae from ‘Insecure,’ Simu Liu from ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,’ Emma Mackey from ‘Sex Education,’ Kingsley Ben-Adir from ‘Secret Invasion,’ Hari Nef from ‘The Idol,’ John Cena from ‘Fast X,’ Kate McKinnon from ‘SNL,’ Alexandra Shipp from ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix,’ Ncuti Gatwa from ‘Doctor Who,’ Will Ferrell from ‘Blades of Glory,’ Michael Cera from ‘Arrested Development,’ America Ferrera from ‘Superstore,’ Emerald Fennell from ‘The Crown,’ and singer-songwriter Dua Lipa.

Barbie, or should we say Barbenheimer, will make its theatrical debut on July 21.

Watch the captivating trailer below:”

(Note: The trailer link is not available, as it is not possible to embed videos in this text-based format.)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about dancers

What was the reason behind hiring dancers as background actors in ‘Barbie’?

Director Greta Gerwig wanted to create a heightened, musical-like ambiance in Barbie Land. She observed that background dancers in musicals possess a unique way of moving and behaving, even when standing still. By casting dancers as background actors, Gerwig aimed to capture that distinctive quality and bring it to the world of Barbie.

What can we expect from the movie ‘Barbie’?

The movie presents a clear divide between Barbie Land, where Barbies and Kens live carefree lives, and the real world, where two of them discover the truth behind their existence and encounter humans and the company responsible for creating them, Mattel. The collision between these two worlds and the consequences of Barbie’s revelation will be unveiled in the film.

Who are some of the notable cast members in ‘Barbie’?

The all-star cast includes Margot Robbie as Barbie, Ryan Gosling as Ken, along with Issa Rae, Simu Liu, Emma Mackey, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Hari Nef, John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Alexandra Shipp, Ncuti Gatwa, Will Ferrell, Michael Cera, America Ferrera, Emerald Fennell, and singer-songwriter Dua Lipa.

When will ‘Barbie’ be released?

‘Barbie,’ also known as ‘Barbenheimer,’ is set to premiere in theaters on July 21.

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MattelFanBoy July 12, 2023 - 6:10 am

Woah! Barbie’s gonna meet humans & find out the truth?! That’s mind-blowing! I’ve been collectin’ Barbie dolls 4 years, so this movie is a must-see 4 me. Barbie forever!

DanceQueen July 12, 2023 - 8:52 am

Greta Gerwig’s choice 2 cast dancers as background actors is genius! It’ll defo bring an extra level of energy & pizzazz 2 Barbie’s world. Excited 2 c the dance sequences!

MovieBuff85 July 12, 2023 - 9:46 am

i’ve seen the trailers 4 Barbie & it looks super cool! can’t wait 2 c how they bring Barbie’s world 2 life. n the cast is amazing, so many talented ppl in 1 movie!

BarbieFan93 July 12, 2023 - 11:26 am

omg i luv Greta Gerwig’s idea of using dancers as background actors in Barbie! it’ll make the movi soooooo much more dancetastic & fun!! cant wait 2 see Barbie & Ken disco the day away!

Cinephile123 July 12, 2023 - 1:43 pm

Greta Gerwig’s interview gives a fascinating insight into the creative decisions behind ‘Barbie.’ The combination of a musical-like atmosphere and a stellar cast has got me hooked! Can’t wait for the premiere!


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