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The surprising list of actors who were up to play Ken in ‘Barbie’

<i>Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures</i><br/>Ryan Gosling as Ken in Warner Bros. Pictures'
Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures
Ryan Gosling as Ken in Warner Bros. Pictures' "Barbie

By Lisa Respers France, CNN

(CNN) — Ryan Gosling may or may not be your ideal Ken in the new “Barbie” movie, but one of the film’s casting directors has shared who else might have gotten the role.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Allison Jones — who cast the hit film along with Lucy Bevan — talked about who else might have joined Barbie in her dream house.

Like the line of dolls the movie is based on, there are multiple Barbies and Kens portrayed by a diverse cast of actors.

But not everyone who wanted in was able to participate.

According to Jones, Covid restrictions at the time meant having to spend three months in London where a great deal of the movie was filmed. And that meant Bowen Yang, Dan Levy, and Ben Platt were out of the running to play Ken.

“They were, I’m not kidding, really bummed they couldn’t do it,” she said.

And they weren’t the only ones angling for the role.

“Simu Liu was dying to be a Ken, God bless him,” Jones said of the actor who was eventually cast as one of the Kens.

She also mentioned an actor who had to turn down the role of Ken’s friend Allan, she said.

“Dear, dear Jonathan Groff was like, ‘I can’t believe I’m typing this, but I can’t do Allan,’” the casting director told the publication.

That role instead went to Michael Cera.

Multiple aspiring Barbie and Kens sent in audition tapes and according to Bevan, director Greta Gerwig was keen on speaking with the possible actors before even sending them the script to read.

“She really wanted to get to know them as people,” Bevan said. “That was very important to her. On the key Barbie and Ken roles, she got a very good idea of what an actor was like from talking to them.”

Margot Robbie snagged the main role of Barbie, though there are multiple other Barbies in the film played by a diverse group of actresses including Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae and Dua Lipa.

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