Being On ‘Hip-Hop Dance Team’ Was ‘Barbie’ Prep

When it was first announced that Greta Gerwig would be moving forward with a feature film based on the beloved (and sometimes very dated) Barbie doll, many fans were wondering what exactly to expect, and how she could possibly top all of those classic animated features that have since gone down in history.

But after the first teaser was revealed, it became apparent that this isn’t just any old regular Barbie movie with veiled 2001: A Space Odyssey references–there are also dance sequences! And on top of those dance sequences, there are many different types of people involved in this movie beyond the titular doll. The cast also includes America Ferrera, Will Ferrell, Issa Rae, Michael Cera, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ncuti Gatwa, Hari Nef, and others, proving that this movie will be a multiverse of madness for those normal, non-Marvel people (they exist!).

But there are some Marvel stars in the mix, too. Simu Liu recently opened up about the casting process, as Gerwig sought to find all different types of actors, not just an 11.5-inch plastic doll with unrealistic body standards. “I remember very clearly about some of our big intricate dance sequences. Greta was very, very conscientious about who she cast. We were able to cast people of different shapes, sizes, differently abled, to all participate in this dance — all under this message of: You don’t have to be blonde, white, or X, Y, Z in order to embody what it means to be a Barbie or a Ken,” the Marvel actor explained in a recent interview with Vanity Fair. “It’s really about finding your inner beauty and owning that part of yourself and being the best possible version of you.”

Liu then praised the diversity among the set, which will hopefully be apparent on the big screen. “I will say, going on set I was never isolated. I felt like I was going to work every day with a cast that really celebrated each other and celebrated each other’s differences, no matter where we came from,” Liu explained. He will portray Ken (or at least some iteration of him) in the film, alongside Ryan Gosling. He added, “I think when you watch the movie, you’ll see that reflected on the screen.”

As for those intricate dance scenes, Liu has been more or less prepping for this moment his whole life. “One of my first conversations with Greta, I told her, ‘Well, I don’t want to brag, but I was on my university’s hip-hop dance team.’ And she literally screamed. So I feel like that ended up playing a very critical role in me getting this project,” Liu added. Now we can fully understand why noted dance legend Ryan Gosling was also cast in the movie!

Barbie hits theaters on July 21, 2023.

(Via IndieWire)


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