Why Matt Bomer Stands by His Decision to Pass on Barbie Role

After Matt Bomer recently revealed he turned down a part in Barbie, the actor shared more details on his audition process and what ultimately led him to make the decision.

By Elyse Dupre Dec 07, 2023 4:04 PMTags
Watch: All the Stars Who Were Almost Cast in Barbie

Matt Bomer just couldn't make it to Barbie Land. 

After recently revealing he turned down the opportunity to appear in Greta Gerwig's Barbie, the White Collar star shared insight into the audition process.

"I got really into it actually," Matt told Jimmy Fallon on the Dec. 6 episode of The Tonight Show. "I had some projects in development, and I wasn't sure if they were gonna happen or when they were gonna happen. So, I auditioned. I mean, I dressed up like Malibu Ken. I dressed up like Business Suit Ken. I had like four different looks going on. I have pictures of this." 

Ultimately, the timing just wasn't right for the 46-year-old.

"I was talking with Greta, I was looking forward to doing it and then the things in development came to fruition," he continued, "and I would have been away from my family for a year, which was just too much time away."

photos
Secrets Behind the Barbie Movie

But does Matt—who shares three sons with husband Simon Halls—regret passing on the box office behemoth? 

"No," the actor explained. "I mean, I hope I get to work with Greta someday. She's phenomenal. But I think they made a perfect movie, and it was cast perfectly."

He added, "And I got to do Fellow Travelers and Maestro and spend time with my family."

Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images

Last month, Matt opened up about trying out for Barbie and passing on a part.

"I recorded it on my own, played a bunch of different Kens—and I dressed differently for all of them," he told Vanity Fair in an interview published Nov. 21. "I recorded the lines of the other person's dialogue on my recorder and then gave myself space to respond." 

However, the Magic Mike alum isn't the only one who said no to a Barbie role. To see more stars who were almost cast, keep reading. 

Amy Schumer

Seven years before Greta Gerwig's version of Barbie premiered, a movie based on the popular doll was already in the works at Sony, with the comedian attached to the project.

And while in 2017, she announced she wouldn't be able to star in the film due to scheduling conflicts, earlier this year, she revealed the real reason behind her exit.

"I think we said it was scheduling conflicts," she said during a June episode of Watch What Happens Live. "That's what we said. But it really was just like, creative differences. But there's a new team behind it and it looks like it's very feminist and cool, so I will be seeing this movie."

The Trainwreck star's sentiment echoes what she previously shared about the direction she realized the project was going in.

"They definitely didn't want to do it the way I wanted to do it, the only way I was interested in doing it," she told the Hollywood Reporter in March 2022.

Noting that she wanted Barbie to be an "inventor," she said the studio had the idea that a creation of hers would be heels made of Jell-O and later sent her a pair of Manolo Blahniks."

The idea that that's just what every woman must want, right there," she said, "I should have gone, ‘You've got the wrong gal.'"

Anne Hathaway

After Amy's departure, the Devil Wears Prada alum signed up in 2018 to replace the comedian, with a set release date of 2020. But by the end of that year, Deadline confirmed that Anne was no longer attached to the project, which had made its way over to Warner Bros. with Margot Robbie as Barbie instead.

Gal Gadot

Margot, who serves both star and co-producer of Barbie, originally envisioned the Wonder Woman star to lead the Barbie world.

"Gal Gadot is Barbie energy," Margot told Vogue of the actress, who wasn't available for the part. "Because Gal Gadot is so impossibly beautiful, but you don't hate her for being that beautiful because she's so genuinely sincere, and she's so enthusiastically kind, that it's almost dorky. It's like right before being a dork."

Saoirse Ronan

Ahead of Barbie's premiere, the Lady Bird alum (and longtime collaborator of Greta's) revealed she was up for a special cameo in the film. Alas, she was busy shooting The Outrun in Scotland at the time.

"I was supposed to do a cameo because I live in London and they were [filming] there," she told People. "There was a whole character I was going to play—another Barbie. I was gutted I couldn't do it."

Timothée Chalamet

Saoirse wasn't the only one Greta was hoping would make a special appearance, as the director revealed she also had her eyes set on Lady Bird's Timothée Chalamet.

"I was also going to do a specialty cameo with Timmy, and both of them couldn't do it, and I was so annoyed," Greta told CinemaBlend. "But I love them so much. But it felt like doing something without my children. I mean, I'm not their mom, but I sort of feel like their mom."

Dan Levy

The Schitt's Creek alum was unable to take on a role of a Ken due to the cast having to spend three months filming in London, the film's casting director Allison Jones told Vanity Fair.

The actor himself told People in January 2024, "Logistically could not make it work despite desperately trying to. So, yeah, I guess I was I was technically unavailable to do that."

He added, "Does it haunt me when I sleep at night Sometimes. It's not like it isn't like one of the biggest movies of all time. That was a tough, that was a tough day."

Bowen Yang

Another Ken that could've been? Saturday Night Live star Bowen Yang was another actor who couldn't film, according to Allison.

Ben Platt

And last but not least, Ben Platt rounded out the trio of Ken potentials, who, as Allison revealed, were "really bummed they couldn't do it."

Jonathan Groff

The Glee alum felt quite the opposite about missing out on the role as Allan (which would later go to Michael Cera).

"Dear, dear Jonathan Groff was like, ‘I can't believe I'm typing this," Allison shared, "but I can't do Allan."

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family).

Latest News