Barbie: How Margot Robbie Got the Role

Learn how Margot Robbie landed the iconic role of Barbie and the journey that led her to become the perfect fit for the beloved doll.

The realm of Hollywood abounds with tales of actors and actresses competing for sought-after roles in blockbuster films. Margot Robbie’s journey to assume the iconic part of Barbie in the live-action adaptation, however, took a highly unconventional route. 

In this article, we will delve into the captivating narrative of Margot Robbie’s path to portraying Barbie, a role she also played a pivotal role in producing. Additionally, we will explore the consideration of other talented actresses for this coveted character.

Robbie’s Unconventional Route to Barbie

Margot Robbie, a renowned and versatile actress, found herself in a remarkably unique situation concerning the Barbie role. In contrast to the typical audition process for actors, Robbie wore two hats in the Barbie project: that of a producer and a potential leading lady.

The Dual Roles of Producer and Actress

In an interview with Teen Vogue, Robbie shed light on her involvement in the film, stating, “I produced the film, so I suppose I cast myself.” Margot Robbie’s agent played a crucial role in facilitating her involvement in both producing and acting. As a producer, Robbie held significant sway in the decision-making process. However, her role as a producer didn’t automatically guarantee her the part of Barbie. She wanted to ensure that the final choice rested with the film’s director, Greta Gerwig.

Robbie made it explicitly clear from the outset that she would not take offense if another actress was selected to play Barbie. In an interview with Collider’s Perri Nemiroff, Robbie emphasized her commitment to supporting the director’s vision, stating, “I didn’t want our director – Greta being the initial choice, but if she declined – to feel pressured into casting me in the role. So, I was upfront about it, ‘I won’t be offended in the slightest. We can consider anyone. Whoever fits the story and your creative vision, I support that. As a producer, I have a stake, but as an actor, I do not, so feel free with your choice.’”

The Unusual Absence of Auditions

In stark contrast to the customary audition process, Margot Robbie’s journey to embody Barbie did not involve the traditional casting tapes. Given her role as a producer, there is no public record of her undergoing an audition. Robbie’s primary focus was ensuring that director Greta Gerwig had the artistic freedom to select the most suitable actress for the iconic role.

Nonetheless, the casting process took an intriguing turn as Gerwig tailored the role specifically to suit Robbie.

Gerwig’s Decision to Cast Robbie

Despite Robbie’s initial reservations about influencing Gerwig’s casting decisions, it became evident that Gerwig strongly desired Robbie to portray Barbie. From the very beginning, the script for the movie mentioned both Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as “Barbie – Margot” and “Ken – Ryan Gosling,” cementing their status as the chosen duo for these iconic roles.

The choice to cast Robbie as Barbie was the result of a collaborative effort, underscoring the trust and creative synergy shared between the actress and the director.

Other Contenders for the Role of Barbie

Prior to Margot Robbie’s selection for the role of Barbie, several talented actresses were under consideration for this highly sought-after part. Hollywood is known for its evolving casting choices, and the Barbie movie was no exception.

One notable actress initially chosen to portray Barbie was Amy Schumer. The original storyline centered around a woman expelled from Barbieland due to her divergence from the ideal image of perfection. However, Schumer’s involvement was short-lived, lasting only four months, as scheduling conflicts prompted her withdrawal from the project. This shift in casting paved the way for further evolution of the movie’s storyline.

At a different stage of the film’s development, Anne Hathaway was also considered for the role of Barbie. During this time, Olivia Milch, the writer of “Ocean’s 8,” and Alethea Jones were announced as part of the creative team. However, in 2018, a significant shift occurred when the rights to the Barbie brand reverted to Mattel, the company that owns Barbie. This change in ownership led to the postponement of the film’s release from its originally planned date in the summer of 2018 to the summer of 2020. Regrettably, the version of the film featuring Hathaway did not come to fruition.

Margot Robbie’s Collaboration with Greta Gerwig

Margot Robbie’s journey to securing the role of Barbie was intertwined with her collaboration with director Greta Gerwig. Their history dates back to Robbie’s role in “I, Tonya,” while Gerwig was working on the Oscar-nominated film “Lady Bird.” Despite occasional encounters at various events, it wasn’t until they had a proper meeting that the idea of collaborating on a project began to take shape.

During their meeting, Gerwig expressed deep admiration for Robbie’s exceptional talent, igniting the spark of collaboration. Robbie had already been acquainted with Gerwig’s work, having watched not only “Lady Bird” but also other films developed by Gerwig and her partner, Noah Baumbach, who co-wrote the script for Barbie. Robbie affectionately referred to Gerwig as the “queen of the indie scene,” and their mutual respect led them on this creative journey together.

In Conclusion

Margot Robbie’s path to securing the role of Barbie was a distinctive and collaborative process, shaped by her dual roles as a producer and an actress. While other talented actresses were considered, it was ultimately Robbie’s synergy with director Greta Gerwig that solidified her position as the iconic doll. Hollywood casting decisions may be unpredictable, but in the case of Barbie, it was a journey that led to the perfect fit for the beloved character.

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