The Cast Of Barbie Kicked Off Filming With A Sleepover, Because Of Course They Did

Whatever Greta Gerwig's got cooking in the (presumably hot pink) oven with "Barbie," it's going to be hard-pressed to compete with the wild set images and videos that've leaked during filming. The first official photos for the movie have been equally magnificent, not least of all the image of Ryan Gosling as the himbo Ken to Margot Robbie's Barbie, complete with white-blonde hair that makes him look like an alternate universe version of Gosling's somber stuntman Luke Glanton from "The Place Beyond the Pines."

"Barbie" marks Gerwig's third time behind the camera as a writer-director, coming after her terrific debut on 2017's "Lady Bird" and equally strong followup with 2019's "Little Women." With a pedigree like that, it's little wonder she was able to assemble a who's who of in-demand actors for her latest project, especially one that aspires to flip the very idea of a live-action "Barbie" movie on its head. Among those joining Robbie and Gosling in the cast are Simu Liu and America Ferrera, along with Issa Rae, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Michael Cera, Ncuti Gatwa, Rhea Perlman, Emerald Fennell, Alexandra Shipp, Hari Nef, Scott Evans, and Emma Mackey. Also onboard is Kate McKinnon, making this a most surprising reunion for her and her "Bombshell" co-star Robbie.

In case there was any doubt the "Barbie" cast is having a blast behind the scenes, Mackey put it to rest when interviewed by Empire Magazine. "Right in the beginning, we had a sleepover for the Barbies, which would involve playing games with Scott [Evans] and Ncuti [Gatwa]," said Mackey. She then took a moment to highlight her table tennis skills, adding, "I don't play games usually, because I get so competitive and angry. But Scott and I were top of the [table tennis] game."

Life in plastic is, indeed, fantastic

There's a valid argument to be made that, in a better world, Greta Gerwig would have been free to channel her whimsical vision for "Barbie" into an original film devoid of any ties to a multi-media franchise. But at the same time, there's something inspired about her making a movie that seems to be borrowing a leaf from "The LEGO Movie" and using its brand as the springboard to produce an ode to the power of creativity and imagination. Indeed, if there's any filmmaker who's proven themselves up to the task of making an anti-corporate corporate product like that, it's someone like Gerwig.

For "Sex Education" alum Emma Mackey, switching gears to "Barbie" came as a relief after playing the tragic novelist and poet Emily Brontë in Frances O'Connor's biopic "Emily":

"It's great to do comedy, because 'Emily' was a sad, dark drama. 'Barbie' is light and funny and silly and American and pink."

According to Mackey, it also helps that Gerwig's fizzy, fanciful vision for "Barbie" is very much a reflection of who she is and what's she like to work with as a director:

"She's everything I could have dreamed of. She's so invested and precise, and so childishly delighted by what she's doing. Scorsese said, 'Never lose the amateur in you.' I see Greta behind her monitor laughing, and she'll reference something very niche and it will make total sense in that moment. Her mind is fizzing all the time. I love being around those kinds of people."

We'll see if life in plastic is, in fact, as fantastic as the film's cast and production leaks would have you believe when "Barbie" opens in theaters on July 21, 2023.