America Ferrera reveals key Barbie scene took up to 50 takes to film

‘Ugly Betty’ star plays a human woman in the hit doll adaptation

Louis Chilton
Tuesday 25 July 2023 07:36 BST
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Trailer for The Barbie Movie

Barbie star America Ferrera has revealed that her big monologue took between 30 and 50 takes to film.

The 39-year-old actor plays Gloria, a human woman, in the hit film adapted from the well-known Mattel doll franchise.

In the scene in question, Gloria delivers a speech to a group of onlookers – including Margot Robbie’s Barbie – in which she addresses the double standards and contradictory expectations imposed on women in a patriarchal society.

The monologue has been celebrated by viewers, with some describing it as the highlight of the film.

Speaking to Vanity Fair, Ferrera, best known for playing the lead role on the ABC sitcom Ugly Betty, opened up about filming the Barbie monologue.

We shot it over two days,” she said. “It’s one part of a much bigger scene with lots of characters in it. I had to do it many, many times for other people’s coverage and to get through the whole scene and over the course of two days.”

“It felt like 500 [takes],” she continued. “I’m sure it wasn’t. It was probably 30 to 50 full runs of it, top to bottom. By the end, [co-star Ariana Greenblatt] recited the monologue to me because she had memorised it because that’s how many times I had said it.”

Greenblatt, 15, plays Gloria’s daughter Sasha in the film.

Ferrera praised Barbie’s director Greta Gerwig, claiming that she “gave me so much freedom” with the monologue.

Margot Robbie in ‘Barbie’

“There were moments in shooting the movie where Greta really had written something in a very specific way that she heard a very specific way in her head with particular cadence in a particular speed or a particular inflection,” she said.

“I thought maybe this would be like that, but it was the opposite. She wanted me to completely make it my own and find it as we did it.”

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In the days since the film’s release on Friday (21 July), Barbie has broken the US domestic box office record for the biggest opening weekend ever for a film directed by a woman.

Globally, the film is expected to record a total opening weekend gross of over $300m (£233m). This figure would constitute the biggest opening for a blockbuster outside the superhero genre.

Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie in Greta Gerwig’s ‘Barbie'

In the run-up to the film’s release, much of the conversation focused around a perceived rivalry with Christopher Nolan’s epic biopic Oppenheimer, released on the same day.

Oppenheimer has surpassed Barbie when it comes to review scores, but Gerwig’s film has proved the bigger hit at the box office during a banner weekend for cinema.

Gerwig also addressed the ending of Barbie in a new interview.

Barbie and Oppenheimer are out in cinemas now.

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