legion chapter 6 review 4

Aubrey Plaza

On Parks and Recreation, Aubrey Plaza perfected a deadpan delivery that has earned her countless fans. This woman is funny and she pulls it off while looking like she’s doing as little as humanly possible. That’s a gift. She has continued to refine her comedy in other other movies, but it’s her performance in Colin Trevorrow’s underrated Safety Not Guaranteed that earns her a place here. Not only does Plaza star in a sweet, strange romantic comedy, she does it without diluting what makes her special in the first place. And that’s before we even get to her work on FX’s Legion, which is next-level bonkers and completely fearless. If a comedy that reinvents what Barbie is all about wants a performer willing to roll her eyes at impossible standards, someone who can brush off criticism with a wicked, confident grin…well, here’s your lady. (Jacob Hall)

gina rodriguez

Gina Rodriguez

Gina Rodriguez is almost the opposite of many of these picks, lacking the biting attitude and self-deprecating humor that the premise of the Barbie film seems to be calling for — at least, Amy Schumer’s Barbie.

In a sense, Rodriguez’s sincerity and sunny disposition is closest to what we would imagine a sentient version of Barbie to be — pretty, careless and carefree. But Rodriguez has the ability to balance irony with that warmth — her breakout role in Jane the Virgin is an exercise in winking soap opera satire after all. Rodriguez would be well-suited as a Barbie girl raised in a Barbie world, and her awkward affability would be a perfect fit for the social outsider whose antics get her kicked out into the real world. Not to mention, Rodriguez’s softer edges could turn Barbie into a different, more family-friendly film, all the while keeping its ironic twists. (Hoai-Train Bui)

jenny slate

Jenny Slate

The Barbie brand has often been criticized for creating unrealistic expectations for young women, so why not cast an actress capable of resetting those expectations through brutal humor and honesty? Jenny Slate is a hilarious goofball (she was nothing short of unreal on Parks and Recreation), but I can’t stop thinking about her work in Gillian Robespierre’s Obvious Child, where she plays a modern woman grappling with an unplanned pregnancy. I’m not saying the new Barbie movie need to have an abortion subplot, but I am saying that Slate is the right combination of funny and brave and down-to-earth necessary to remind younger viewers that life is hard…and certainly not without its many joys. (Jacob Hall)

Edge of Seventeen Trailer

Hailee Steinfeld

Hailee Steinfeld is a good actress, but she’s also a very funny actress. Steinfeld shows an almost explosive amount of range in The Edge of Seventeen – it’s a great, honest performance, one that scores more than a few of laughs. She’s also quite funny in True Grit, in which she doesn’t struggle for a second to keep up with a seasoned pro like Jeff Bridges. If the Barbie movie is a fish out of water story, like Enchanted but with the iconic doll, it’s easy to imagine Steinfeld as a wide-eyed, innocent, and high-energy doll exploring our world. Not all good actors have comedic timing, but Steinfeld does. Whether we’re talking Barbie or another major studio comedy, it’s a genre she’d probably do great work in as a lead.  (Jack Giroux)

tessa thompson thor role

Tessa Thompson

Tessa Thompson will soon be recognizable to millions for her work in Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok, but since a Valkyrie spin-off probably isn’t in the cards in the immediate future, I think she’d be an inspired choice to replace Amy Schumer in the title role of Barbie. Thompson’s fans know she’s capable of pulling off a strong comedic performance – she had a short stint on Veronica Mars, but really proved she had the chops in Justin Simien’s 2014 comedy Dear White People. I can easily see the same side-eye Thompson employs so wonderfully in that movie directly translating to the story of the Barbie movie as it’s been described. Thompson also has a wry sense of humor, which has been hinted at in her episodes of Westworld and fleshed out a bit more in her supporting role in the excellent 2015 Rocky spin-off/sequel Creed. That, combined with the fact that she’s a person of color, could result in an unexpected, refreshing choice that would buck the stereotype of what we think of when we think of Barbie. (Ben Pearson)

Pages: Previous page 1 2

Cool Posts From Around the Web: