In a new interview, Barbie star Simu Liu revealed the central message of Greta Gerwig's upcoming film.
Barbie is easily one of the most anticipated films on the 2023 calendar, as Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, and more embody Mattel's iconic world of plastic dolls.
But it is not just an adaptation taking on one of the most popular toys of all time. Writer/director Greta Gerwig has been vocal that Barbie is set to be a commentary on consumerism and identity. Heady stuff for a world of well-dressed dolls.
And on the heels of the very first trailer for Gerwig's Barbie-based blockbuster, one of the film's stars, Simu Liu, hinted at what the movie is really all about.
A Deeper Look at Barbie
As a part of a recent conversation, Barbie's central message was revealed by one of the stars of the film, Simu Liu.
"It’s really about finding your inner beauty and owning that part of yourself and being the best possible version of you.”
Liu noted that director Greta Gerwig was "very conscientious about who she cast" as the filmmaker tries to tell the audience, "you don’t have to be blonde, white, or X, Y, Z in order to embody what it means to be a Barbie or a Ken:”
"I remember very clearly about some of our big intricate dance sequences. Greta was very, very conscientious about who she cast. We were able to cast people of different shapes, sizes, differently abled, to all participate in this dance—all under this message of: You don’t have to be blonde, white, or X, Y, Z in order to embody what it means to be a Barbie or a Ken.”
He continued, remarking that he "never [felt] isolated" while on set for the project, knowing he was working with a cast who "really celebrated each other and celebrated each other’s differences:"
“I will say, going on set I was never isolated. I felt like I was going to work every day with a cast that really celebrated each other and celebrated each other’s differences, no matter where we came from. I think when you watch the movie, you’ll see that reflected on the screen.”
What to Expect in Greta Gerwig's Barbie?
For the everyday moviegoer, a Barbie film may have sounded like a questionable prospect. After years of mediocre takes on iconic toys on the big screen (i.e. Battleship, G.I. Joe, and Transformers), one might expect Barbie to simply be another cash grab.
However, for fans of Greta Gerwig, it was immediately evident that this is going to be a whole lot more than any of those other films. Gerwig is a smart filmmaker, having directed such critical darlings as Lady Bird and Little Women.
This is a director that is intentional with the projects she takes, and if she is going to do a Barbie movie then it is going to have a whole lot more to say than one may expect.
And Simu Liu's above quotes totally play into that. The Barbie brand means so much to so many different people, something that is going to be represented on-screen in the upcoming blockbuster. The toy's iconic slogan is "be who you wanna be, B-A-R-B-I-E," so it would only be fitting the film adaptation embodies that.
Barbie comes to theaters on July 21, 2023.