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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

Barbie Cast and Character Guide

This weeks Your Nerd Side Show:

The long-awaited and highly-anticipated Barbie movie features plenty of notable faces. For the most part, the characters are directly inspired by toys that have been released over the years or are original Barbie movie characters. Of course, this means that the long-beloved Mattel toys Barbie and Ken are not just two people. Instead, the Truman Show-esque Barbieland is populated with plenty of Barbies and Kens. Still, each character has its place in the story, and most of them are portrayed by familiar faces for fans to look for.

Margot Robbie Leads the Barbies

Even though there's not just one Barbie, there is one that most people recognize immediately: the blonde bombshell at the forefront of Mattel's entire Barbie brand. Barbie lives her fantastic life in plastic as a model of perfection for the folks of Barbieland before she's exiled. This Barbie adventure has a household name donning the sparkly pink wardrobe. That is, of course, Margot Robbie, who's played real-life figures like Tonya Harding in I, Tonya, and altered versions of Naomi Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street and Sharon Tate in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The Oscar-nominated star is likely best known for playing Harley Quinn in the DCEU. Robbie isn't simply a star in Barbie either, as she's stepping into the producer's chair.

Dua Lipa as Mermaid Barbie

Dua Lipa's Barbie is hardly ordinary as she's a mermaid shown with a tail and blue hair. Mermaid Barbie actually marks the established musician's acting debut. She's earned six Brit Awards, three Grammys, and even two Guinness World Records for her music.

Issa Rae as President Barbie

Issa Rae's Barbie is arguably one of the most important in Barbieland, given she's President Barbie. Rae has many award nominations due to her acting, writing, and producing. Aside from writing and starring in HBO's Emmy-nominated Insecure, she's played in The Hate U Give, The Photograph, and The Lovebirds. She can also be found in the cast of Across the Spider-Verse as Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman.

Kate McKinnon as the Forgotten Barbie

As Barbie proves in the movie, not everyone in Barbieland is perfect and in ignorant bliss. Forgotten Barbie is one of the few ostracized imperfect dolls. Kate McKinnon plays the eccentric Forgotten Barbie. McKinnon is best known for her work as a recurring cast member of Saturday Night Live, but she's also part of comedy movies like Ghostbusters, Ferdinand, and Rough Night.

Emma Mackey as Physicist Barbie

It's always important for youngins to see women in primarily male-dominated fields, so having one of the Barbies be a physicist is a nice touch. The role of Physicist Barbie is taken on by Emma Mackey. Mackey is perhaps best known for her role in Sex Education or her parts in Death on the Nile and some other movies.

Ana Cruz Kayne as Judge Barbie

Barbie's arm of the law, Judge Barbie, is played by Ana Cruz Kayne. She's played in projects like Jerry & Marge Go Large and Depraved. She's no stranger to working with director Greta Gerwig, as she scored a role in the recent adaptation of Little Women.

Ritu Arya as Journalist Barbie

Barbieland's resident journalist is Journalist Barbie, played by Ritu Arya. Arya has roles in Polite Society, Red Notice, and The Umbrella Academy. She's also starred in the BBC soap opera Doctors, which earned her a British Soap Award nomination.

Hari Nef as Doctor Barbie

The medical field of Barbieland is run by Doctor Barbie. She's played by model, actor, and writer Hari Nef who has roles in Transparent, 1Up, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and HBO's controversial drama The Idol.

Nicola Coughlan as Diplomat Barbie

Barbieland's politics don't just fall on President Barbie, as there is also a Diplomat Barbie. She's played by Nicola Coughlan who's starred in shows like Harlots, Bridgerton, and Derry Girls.

Sharon Rooney as Lawyer Barbie

Since there's a Judge Barbie, it's unsurprising that a Lawyer Barbie is arguing her cases. Sharon Rooney plays Lawyer Barbie. Rooney is perhaps best known for her roles in My Mad Fat Diary, Two Doors Down, Brief Encounters, and 2019's live-action Dumbo.

Related: Barbenheimer: Thousands of Fans Have Booked Barbie-Oppenheimer Double Features

Ryan Gosling Heads Up the Kens

Ken is a character that has always been associated with Barbie. He's her male counterpart whether their relationship is romantic or platonic. In the Barbie movie, he's Barbie's boyfriend and adventure partner as he follows her into the real world while providing a bit of comedy along the way. There are many versions of Ken, but the leader of the group is played by Ryan Gosling. He's been in plenty of films like Blade Runner 2049, Drive, and The Big Short. But the twice Oscar-nominated actor is probably best recognized for his roles in The Notebook and La La Land.

John Cena as Merman Ken

One of the most interesting casting choices in Barbie is that of John Cena. Cena is playing a muscled Merman version of Ken. Cena is best known for his hugely successful wrestling career, but he’s also starred in flicks such as The Suicide Squad, the Daddy’s Home duo, F9, and the new Fast X.

Simu Liu as Ken

Simu Liu is among the most notable Ken characters as he seems to rival Gosling's Ken. He's an established flirt and a dance-battle enthusiast. Liu has an iconic repertoire with roles in shows like Kim's Convenience and the starring role in the MCU flick Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Ncuti Gatwa as Ken

Ncuti Gatwa is playing one of the many Kens in Barbie. Beyond this, Gatwa has many beloved roles, but the most notable hasn't dropped just yet. He's next in line for the highly-coveted part of The Doctor in the upcoming 14th season of Doctor Who. He's also starred in projects like Sex Education and The Last Letter from Your Lover.

Scott Evans as Ken

The younger brother of Chris Evans, Scott Evans, is one of the many Kens. Beyond this, Evans has more roles behind him, starring as Officer Oliver Fish in the soap opera One Life to Live. He’s also had roles in movies like Almost Love, Playing it Cool, and The Lovely Bones.

Kingsley Ben-Adir as Ken

Like Evans' Ken, Kingsley Ben-Adir is just another version of Ken. Ben-Adir has some better-known roles like Karim Washington in The OA, Ben Younger in Peaky Blinders, and Malcolm X in One Night in Miami.

Emerald Fennell Plays Midge

Featured in Barbie is Barbie's controversial best friend, Midge. Her toy has long taken heat for her evident pregnancy, with many claiming a pregnant Barbie is simply inappropriate and could promote teen pregnancy. Regardless of the boundary-pushing aspects, Midge is a great friend and stands out as a person. Midge's Emerald Fennell is a talented actor with roles in projects like Anna Karenina and The Crown. But, she's well known for her extraordinary work behind the camera, including her Oscar-winning work as writer and director of Promising Young Woman and Emmy-nominated work as the showrunner of Killing Eve.

Michael Cera Plays Midge's Husband, Allan Sherwood

Allan Sherwood has long been considered Ken's best buddy and is Midge's husband, which make him stand out from the endless stream of Kens. He's played by Michael Cera, a well-established comedian with roles in Arrested Development, Superbad, Juno, and the titular role in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

Will Ferrell Is a Mattel Executive

The main antagonist of Barbie is the CEO of the Barbie-making Mattel and the apparent creator of perfect Barbieland. He's played by Will Ferrell, one of the biggest stars in Barbie. Ferrell has appeared in plenty of movies, primarily comedy ones, including the Barbie-similar movie Elf, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights, Get Hard, Zoolander, and Daddy's Home.

Ariana Greenblatt and America Ferrera Are Humans

Because Barbie travels to the human world, it's unsurprising that she encounters a few humans. A couple of these humans are played by Ariana Greenblatt and America Ferrera. Greenblatt is likely best known for her role alongside Jenna Ortega in the Disney Channel show Stuck in the Middle, but she's also appeared in movies like Adam Driver's 65. Ferrera also has TV roles like the lead in Ugly Betty and Superstore and roles in films like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

Helen Mirren Narrates Barbie's Story

One of the most surprising cast inclusions in the Barbie movie isn't very easily spotted, as she's the narrator of Barbie's story. Dame Helen Mirren's lovely voice puts Barbie in the actor's long list of movie roles. The Oscar-award-winning Mirren has roles in The Queen and Excalibur, with the former earning her the Oscar. Some of her other projects are more recent, as she's starred in the series 1923, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and even a few of the Fast and Furious movies.

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