Ryan Gosling's "I'm Just Ken" Oscars Secrets Revealed: Emma Stone Moment, Marilyn Inspiration and More

Ryan Gosling’s “I’m Just Ken” performance at the 2024 Oscars was truly iconic and took months to brainstorm, produce and practice. Find out everything you need to know about the spectacle.

By Brahmjot Kaur Mar 12, 2024 6:42 PMTags
Watch: Ryan Gosling’s 'I’m Just Ken' Performance: Behind-The-Scenes Secrets!

Ryan Gosling brought the Kenergy—but not without some major planning. 

In fact, the Barbie star's "I'm Just Ken" performance at the 2024 Oscars at Dolby Theatre required months of preparation alongside producers, choreographers, dancers and more to bring the extravagant production to life.

"Ryan Gosling is a true professional, that man—we met with him on Zooms months ago, talking about that performance," show producer Molly McNearney told Variety in an article published March 11. "Greta Gerwig weighed in creatively as well. He was so committed to it."

But the inspiration behind the spectacle, which was a tribute to Marilyn Monroe's song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, was all Ryan. And it only took a 40-piece orchestra, 62 dancers, over 24 massive Barbie heads, a cameo from Guns N' Roses and four Kens from Barbie.

"That's where the pink suit, and everybody else in black came from—and the stairs in the back," choreographer Mandy Moore explained. "And we had an homage to the candelabra girls: We had Ken-delabra men."

Secrets Behind the Barbie Movie

While the song was all about Ken, Ryan was set on highlighting the leading ladies from the film, including Margot Robbie, America Ferrera and Greta, along with longtime friend Emma Stone, who won Best Actress in a Leading Role.

"It was really important for him to jump down and include Margot and Greta and America," Moore recalled to Variety. "He said, ‘I really need those ladies in the front, because I'm gonna go over to them. I want them to sing.'"

PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Greta's biggest wish, however, was to see the crowd dancing and singing along. So, the producers projected the lyrics on the screen for the audience to sing along.

Rehearsals for Ryan and Mandy began a month before the Academy Awards, but the rest of the performers—including Simu Liu, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ncuti Gatwa, and Scott Evans—only had two days to prepare. And Simu admitted he's still processing the iconic moment.

Rich Polk/Variety via Getty Images

"I kind of blacked out up there," he joked. "I didn't know if I did any of the choreography right? I just knew vaguely where I had to be. Greta was screaming, she was so happy."

While Ryan's performance was one to remember, the 2024 Oscar wins were too. Keep reading to see who took home gold before and after Ken took the stage.

Best Picture

American Fiction
Anatomy of a Fall
The Holdovers
Killers of the Flower Moon
WINNER: Oppenheimer
Past Lives
Poor Things
The Zone of Interest

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Annette Bening, NYAD
Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon
Sandra Hüller, Anatomy of a Fall
Carey Mulligan, Maestro
WINNER: Emma Stone, Poor Things

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Bradley Cooper, Maestro
Colman Domingo, Rustin
Paul Giamatti, The Holdovers
WINNER: Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer
Jeffrey Wright, American Fiction

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Emily Blunt, Oppenheimer
Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
America Ferrera, Barbie
Jodie Foster, NYAD
WINNER: Da'Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Sterling K. Brown, American Fiction
Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon
WINNER: Robert Downey Jr., Oppenheimer
Ryan Gosling, Barbie
Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things

Best Directing

Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Triet
Killers of the Flower Moon, Martin Scorsese
WINNER: Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan
Poor Things, Yorgos Lanthimos
The Zone of Interest, Jonathan Glazer

Best Animated Feature Film

WINNER: The Boy and the Heron
Robot Dreams
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse


Best International Feature Film

Io Capitano, Italy
Perfect Days, Japan
Society of the Snow, Spain
The Teachers' Lounge, Germany
WINNER: The Zone of Interest, United Kingdom

Best Documentary Feature Film

Bobi Wine: The People's President
The Eternal Memory
Four Daughters
To Kill a Tiger
WINNER: 20 Days in Mariupol


Best Documentary Short Film

The ABCs of Book Banning
The Barber of Little Rock
Island in Between
WINNER: The Last Repair Shop
Nǎi Nai and Wài Pó

Best Live Action Short Film

The After
Knight of Fortune
Red, White and Blue
WINNER: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

Best Animated Short Film

Letter to a Pig
Ninety-Five Senses
Our Uniform
WINNER: War Is Over! Inspired by The Music of John & Yoko  

Best Production Design

Killers of the Flower Moon
WINNER: Poor Things

Best Original Song

"The Fire Inside," Flamin' Hot
"I'm Just Ken," Barbie
"It Never Went Away," American Symphony
"Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People)," Killers of the Flower Moon
WINNER: "What Was I Made For?," Barbie

Best Original Score

American Fiction
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Killers of the Flower Moon
WINNER: Oppenheimer
Poor Things

Best Sound

The Creator
Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One
WINNER: The Zone of Interest

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

WINNER: Poor Things
Society of the Snow

Best Costume Design

Killers of the Flower Moon
WINNER: Poor Things

Best Original Screenplay

WINNER: Anatomy of a Fall
The Holdovers
May December
Past Lives

Best Adapted Screenplay

WINNER: American Fiction
Poor Things
The Zone of Interest

Best Visual Effects

The Creator
WINNER: Godzilla Minus One
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Mission Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One


Best Film Editing

Anatomy of a Fall
The Holdovers
Killers of the Flower Moon
WINNER: Oppenheimer
Poor Things


Best Cinematography

El Conde,
Killers of the Flower Moon
WINNER: Oppenheimer
Poor Things

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