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Mark Ronson Reveals Ryan Gosling’s ‘I’m Just Ken’ Was Almost Cut From ‘Barbie’: ‘Greta Had to Fight’

The producer and actor recently performed the number together at the 2024 Oscars.

Mark Ronson and Ryan Gosling attend the 29th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on Jan. 14, 2024 in Santa Monica, Calif.

Mark Ronson and Ryan Gosling attend the 29th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on Jan. 14, 2024 in Santa Monica, Calif.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association

Ryan Gosling‘s performance of “I’m Just Ken” was arguably the most show-stopping moment from the 2024 Oscars, but according to Mark Ronson, it almost never happened.

In an interview with The Sunday Times ahead of the Academy Awards Sunday (March 10), the executive soundtrack producer of Barbie revealed that the over-the-top, satirical ballad was almost didn’t make it into the final cut of Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster 2023 film, much less the Oscars lineup.


“At that first screening the song wasn’t working,” Ronson, who co-wrote “I’m Just Ken” with Andrew Wyatt, told the publication. “I panicked. The humor wasn’t translating.”

“Greta had to fight,” he continued. “The studio asked her how much she really needed it and she said, ‘With every inch of my body.’ And then there was a big swing.”

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In the film, Gosling croons about his “blond fragility” in multiple settings and costumes, backed up by dozens of fellow Kens who also feel misunderstood in Barbie Land. Joined by Ronson, Guns N’ Roses’ Slash and Wolfgang Van Halen, the actor translated the sequence to a flamboyant stage performance at the 2024 Oscars in Los Angeles Sunday night, in celebration of the tune’s best original song nod. (The award ended up going to another Barbie song, Billie Eilish and Finneas’ “What Was I Made For?”)

Shortly after Barbie‘s theatrical release in July, “I’m Just Ken” reached No. 87 on the Billboard Hot 100, making Gosling a first-time charting musician on the ranking. In January, the tune won best original song at the Critic’s Choice Awards.

“Ken is ridiculous,” Ronson added to the publication. “But Greta’s point was that nobody should ever be laughing at a character. We feel their pain, as crazy as that sounds, about a guy wearing a white mink and two pairs of sunglasses. I never wanted to write a song for a cheap laugh. You want something to get under people’s skin.”

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This article was first published by Billboard U.S.

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The Black Keys
Jim Herrington

The Black Keys

Music News

The Black Keys Cancel North American Leg of International Players Tour

The rock duo's 31-date arena trek was scheduled to launch in September and included a date at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena on Oct. 11, 2024.

The Black Keys have abruptly canceled their upcoming North American tour.

The 31-date arena trek — which was scheduled to launch Sept. 17 in Tulsa, Okla., and wrap Nov. 12 in Detroit — quietly disappeared from Ticketmaster’s website without explanation on Friday (May 24).

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