All the Stars Who Were Almost Cast in Barbie

Though Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling were among those who ultimately lived a life of plastic in Barbie, they weren't the first to sign up for the fantastic role of a lifetime.

By Kisha Forde Jan 07, 2024 11:00 AMTags
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Barbieland was very close to having a different set of characters.

Before Margot Robbie landed the titular role in Greta Gerwig's Golden Globe-nominated film Barbie alongside Issa Rae, Kate McKinnon and more, Amy Schumer had signed up for a life in plastic.

However, as the comedian—who exited the then-Sony backed film in 2017—admitted, there was a lot more to her change of heart than what was shared at the time.

"I think we said it was scheduling conflicts," she said during her appearance on Watch What Happens Live in June. "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."

But Amy isn't the only actress that couldn't quite be boxed in, as Anne Hathaway was set to step in to replace the Trainwreck star. Alas, Barbie wouldn't get the opportunity wear Prada that time around, either.

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And as far as the ensemble goes, there were also quite a few actors who had to regrettably give up their chance to play Ken alongside Ryan Gosling. Keep reading to find out about every star that almost made the cut.

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."

This story was first publishing on Tuesday, July 25, 2023 at 1 p.m. PT.

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