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Writer-director Greta Gerwig on ‘Barbie’ backlash and when she knew she found her Ken in Ryan Gosling

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Barbie is a bonafide smash, but some on the Margot Robbie/Ryan Gosling movie are crying foul, mainly from the right side of the political spectrum.

Conservative columnist Ben Shapiro, for example, said he was “dragged” to see it, calling it “a flaming garbage heap” of a film. For the record, he was dragged online for his 45-minute rant about it, and he’s burning actual Barbies in effigy because of it.

Cowriter and director Greta Gerwin noted to the New York Times the “passion” surrounding the film. She said diplomatically, “My hope for the movie is that it’s an invitation for everybody to be part of the party and let go of the things that aren’t necessarily serving us as either women or men.”

She added, “I hope that in all of that passion, if they see it or engage with it, it can give them some of the relief that it gave other people.”

The Oscar-nominated screenwriter noted it’s “sort of extraordinary” that the movie is actually being received the way she intended: “anarchic and wild and funny and cathartic.”

Greta is also shining some light on Barbie’s other half, Ken.

On Sean Hayes, Jason Bateman and Will Arnett‘s Smartless podcast, she admitted Gosling was her first choice to play the famous himbo, explaining, “We wrote his name into the script and everything…his [name] was everywhere. And then…the studio was like ‘Oh, it’s so wonderful that you know Ryan.’ And I was like, ‘Oh…I’ve never met Ryan…”

She also explained it was the actor’s 2017 guest stint on Saturday Night Live that sold her, particularly his appearance with former cast member Alex Moffat in the recurring sketch “Guy That Just Bought a Boat.” It’s so good,” she gushed, according to Deadline.

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