Few films are proving to be as hotly anticipated as Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Barbie, with many expecting the indie auteur to provide a radical, revisionist take on the origin story behind the beloved Mattel toy. And following the first look at Margot Robbie in the titular role last month—driving a hot pink, open-top Corvette and styled in all the gloriously kitschy fashion you might expect—today, we got our first glimpse at her co-star, Ryan Gosling, as Ken.
If the internet’s response is anything to go by, Gosling’s look has more than fulfilled the brief (no pun intended). With his platinum blonde hair, oiled-up washboard abs, and liberal amounts of fake tan, the results of Gosling’s striking transformation could have come straight out of a ’90s Toys “R” Us catalog. His outfit, meanwhile, is a pitch-perfect nod to Y2K boyband style, featuring a stonewashed denim jacket with cut-off sleeves, matching jeans, and a pair of classic white boxers with “Ken” stitched across the waistband.
While it certainly marks a bold aesthetic pivot from Gerwig’s previous films, online sleuths are convinced the bold looks worn by Gosling and Robbie in these first-look images hint at the more subversive take Gerwig and partner Noah Baumbach (who co-wrote the screenplay) are planning for the film, which also stars the likes of Issa Rae, Hari Nef, Simu Liu, and America Ferrera. (Barbie is slated for release next summer.) “People generally hear ‘Barbie’ and think, ‘I know what that movie is going to be,’” Robbie told British Vogue in a cover interview last year. “And then they hear that Greta Gerwig is writing and directing it, and they’re like, ‘Oh, well, maybe I don’t…’” If the latest photo of Gosling is anything to go by, we should continue to expect the unexpected.