With over $1.3 billion at the box office, the 2023 Barbie Movie is considered as the most successful movie of the year. The casting of the characters, the motivational message, and the sheer refreshment of seeing a live-action movie about Barbie, especially for adults, has helped generate this level of success. With sales rivaling Oppenhiemer and even the Godfather trilogy, we cannot help but ask about the events behind the scenes to create the Barbie magic. So, here is a look behind the curtain of the effort necessary to produce the Barbie Movie.
No Cell Phones Allowed on Set: According to an interview with Greta Gerwig, the director of the movie, all of the actors and actresses were told to place their cell phones inside a room where it was locked away until they went on break or at the end of the working day. “As a director, we want our cast to become fully immersed in the characters”, says Gerwig. “Cell phones are an obstacle to this immersement and so our movie is cell-phone free”. Other directors such as Quentin Tarantino and Elizabeth Banks have also banned cell phones in “Sonita” and The “Hunger Games: Catching Fire “
The Barbie Movie Created a Pink Paint Shortage Around the World: According to reporter Caitlin O’Kane, the set of the Barbie Movie took billions of gallons of pink paint to create. So much paint that there was a shortage of the color throughout the world. “Rosco, a company specializing in theater paint, was completely depleted of Flourescent Pink paint stock and it still wasn’t enough pink paint, acccording to Gerwig”, reports O’Kane. Fortunatly,Flourescent Pink is back in stock and, with the movie’s success, we can’t help but feel the shortage was worth the effort.
The casts were forced to have movie nights: The idea of having frequent movie nights and other get-togethers to help bond with each other was offered by Margot Robbie, the actress of the main Barbie. “All the girls would gather together to watch chick flicks such as Mean Girls and we all got along well. No boys allowed-they indulged in their own parties and whatnot”, says Robbie. Based on the chemistry amongst the actors and actresses so surreal, these movie nights were certainly an asset.
No Stunt Doubles or Special Effects: Gerwig discusses her efforts to make the Barbie Movie as traditional as possible: “No green screens were used to create the backgrounds for the movie. The sets of Barbieland were hand-crafted from cardboard and moved using levers inside the parts. [Margot Robbie] also forbade the use of stunt doubles throughout the film. The scens of her floating in the air were entirely her-controlled by strings of course!”
Ryan Gosling’s Scenes were Mostly Improvised: We cannot talk about the Barbie Movie without giving a special shot-out to Ken’s actor Ryan Gosling. His lines were some of the best in the film, and many of them weren’t in the script! Examples include Ken seeing horses in the “real world” and saying, “horses are just extentions of men” as well as Babie discussing her lack of genetalia to a group of men and Ken adding in “I have genetals”. Robbie admits that she “almost passed out from laughing so far and many times, reuired us to shoot the take again”. While breaking characters is sometimes left in the scene, Gerwig wanted to make the movie as profesisonal and motivational as possible and oftentimes, scenes were shot for hours due to Gosling’s banter. However, it is also heartwamring and depicts more chemistry and humor thoroughout the cast.
With these 5 facts in mind, it is understable how the Barbie film is one of the highest grossing films of all time, let alone of this year. The effort and sacrafise needed to create the film behind the scenes is unlike other movies of this time. Still, we are thankful that the movie sparked our interest in being kids again and reminescing about the things we loved.