Academy Award winning director Oliver Stone is under fire for comments he made about Ryan Gosling’s involvement in the box office smash hit, Barbie.
Gosling, 43, earned critical praise for his role as Ken in the billion-dollar blockbuster, and is tipped to be nominated for an Oscar when the official list is announced on Wednesday.
But ahead of the film’s release in July, when nobody had a clue what to expect from Greta Gerwig’s film about the iconic Mattel doll, Stone suggested Gosling was selling out for signing up to star – in comments that have only now surfaced widely.
“Ryan Gosling is wasting his time if he’s doing that s**t for money. He should be doing more serious films. He shouldn’t be a part of this infantilisation of Hollywood,” Oliver said in the June 2023 interview with City AM.
“Now it’s all fantasy, fantasy, fantasy, including all the war pictures: fantasy, fantasy.”
But ‘Platoon’ director Oliver Stone thought Barbie was contributing to the “infantilisation of Hollywood”. Picture: AAP
Gosling ultimately charmed critics and moviegoers with his portrayal of a childlike, misguided Ken, delivering an unexpected character arc and one epic musical number. And Barbie as a package defied early assumptions, lauded for its messaging with themes of inequality and self-discovery.
Stone, best known for directing Platoon and JFK, has found himself the target of belated backlash to his comments, with dozens of fans defending Gosling and the film:
Gosling doesn’t typically star in comedies, and is better known for his dramatic and romantic roles in films like The Notebook, Blue Valentine, La La Land and First Man.
His performance in Barbie prompted calls for him to flex his comedy muscle more often.
Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling star in Barbie. Picture: Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
In an interview discussing Barbie, Gosling, a father of two, admitted to feeling pressure to take more “serious films” after getting his big break as a child on Disney Channel show The Mickey Mouse Club.
“There’s something about this Ken that really, I think, relates to that version of myself. Just, like, the guy that was putting on Hammer pants and dancing at the mall,” Gosling said.
“I owe that kid a lot. I feel like I was very quick to distance myself from him when I started making more serious films.
“But the reality is that, like, he’s the reason I have everything I have.
“I really had to go back and touch base with that little dude, and say thank you, and ask for his help.”