In the wake of the overwhelming success of Barbie’s “I’m Just Ken” song, songwriter and producer Mark Ronson reveals Ryan Gosling’s captivating reaction to its viral acclaim. Gosling, known for his portrayal of Ken in the live-action adaptation of the Mattel doll franchise alongside Margot Robbie, has found the journey of the song to be a surreal experience.
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In the movie, Gosling’s character Ken embarks on a real-world adventure with Barbie, where he encounters the concept of patriarchy and contemplates initiating a revolt of the Kens, only to be ensnared in an all-out war among the male dolls orchestrated by the Barbies. During this climactic moment, Gosling’s character bursts into song, which ultimately gave rise to the chart-topping “I’m Just Ken.”
The Hollywood Reporter recently caught up with Mark Ronson to explore the making of this viral sensation, and Ronson shared intriguing insights into Ryan Gosling’s reactions. Notably, the songwriter/producer was pleasantly surprised when Gosling expressed his desire to perform the song himself. Ronson has been keeping Gosling updated on each milestone the song achieved, and the Oscar nominee’s response has been nothing short of amazement. Ronson described Gosling as someone who doesn’t easily get carried away by hype, and his reaction to the song’s success was, in his own words, “so surreal.” It’s evident that Gosling’s genuine passion for music played a significant role in his deep appreciation for the song’s popularity. Ronson added, “I think he’s a real musician, he loves music, and I think he was really touched by that, and like when Slash played on it, you know? So there’s certain things that he’s been really, I think, excited about.”
Unveiling the Success Story of “I’m Just Ken”
Prior to Barbie’s release, Warner Bros. recognized the potential blockbuster status of “I’m Just Ken.” They strategically unveiled a portion of the song, creating anticipation before audiences even had the chance to watch the movie. Once the film debuted to critical acclaim, fans flocked to platforms like YouTube and Spotify, where “I’m Just Ken” rapidly gained traction. In just two months, the song garnered over 10 million views on YouTube and amassed over 75 million streams on Spotify.
The song’s meteoric rise to popularity can be attributed to its clever blend of self-awareness and an embrace of Barbie’s unique central concept. The film itself delves into Ken’s emotional dependence on Barbie’s affections from both a satirical and empathetic perspective. Ken’s brief villainous stint ultimately unravels thanks to the lessons imparted by Robbie’s character, emphasizing the idea that individuals in Barbieland can strive to be more than the predefined toy personalities they’ve embodied throughout their existence.
“I’m Just Ken” encapsulates the essence of Ken’s personal journey towards self-discovery and independence. The song is a celebration of his transformation into an individual while highlighting his continued inability to comprehend Barbie’s disinterest in reciprocating his feelings. Combining these thematic elements with vibrant sets and an ’80s power ballad-style composition, complete with instrumental contributions from renowned musicians like Guns N’ Roses’ Slash, Wolfgang Van Halen, and Foo Fighters’ Josh Freese, the song’s appeal extends far beyond the film’s narrative. Its infectious charm and musical prowess have not only enchanted Ryan Gosling but also captivated audiences worldwide, solidifying its place as a viral sensation.