Greta Gerwig shares Barbie star who should be next James Bond – and it’s not Ryan Gosling

British actor played Basketball Ken in Gerwig’s hit film

Isobel Lewis
Friday 03 November 2023 11:27 GMT
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Trailer for The Barbie Movie

Greta Gerwig has revealed which of Barbies Kens she thinks should be in the running to play the next James Bond.

The Lady Bird director scored the year’s biggest film success with her take on Mattel’s iconic doll, in a comedy adventure where Barbie (Margot Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling) are forced into the real world.

Both stars are joined by a cast of Barbies and Kens, one of whom is British actor Kingsley Ben-Adir.

Appearing on Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast to discuss the film, Gerwig described how the One Night in Miami… star was “so funny” as an actor, but had been able to bring his classical acting background to the role.

Gerwig described the scene near the end of the film where Gosling’s Ken gifts his faux-fur jacket to Ben-Adir’s Basketball Ken, who turns around to his fellow Kens and delivers a heroic speech with the sobriety and conviction of a Shakesperian actor.

“He can do anything, and is a very proper, trained British actor,” Gerwig said. “He can do the [Laurence] Olivier voice, so we had versions where he turned around and it was British. But that was one of those [moments], when he turned around and did that voice – everybody on set, everybody’s jaw dropped. He became this different person.

“I think the direction I gave to him, I said something like, ‘Ascend the throne’ and he was like, ‘Got it’. And he turned around and he ascended the throne. I was like, ‘Get this to whoever is making Bond, [they] need this immediately.”

In the scene, Basketball Ken turns around and sincerely tells them: “We were only fighting because we didn’t know who we were.”

Ben-Adir (far right), with Emma Mackey, Simu Liu, Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in ‘Barbie'

Gerwig clarified that she didn’t know who was being considered to play the next 007, but praised Ben-Adir as a “great actor”. She said that he had come up with many of his Barbie character’s quirks himself, including the trait where Basketball Ken is always holding too many things.

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Ben-Adir’s name has been mentioned in connection with Bond in recent years, as speculation about who will replace Daniel Craig as the secret agent intensifies.

According to the bookies, Aaron Taylor-Johnson is in pole position to step into the role, followed by Henry Cavill, James Norton, and Regé-Jean Page.

However, it may be some time until the next Bond is revealed. In a recent interview with The Guardian, franchise producer Barbara Broccoli said that there was a “big road ahead” before the character was “reinvented for the next chapter”.

Meanwhile, author Charlie Higson, who was commissioned earlie this year by Ian Fleming Publications to write a new Bond story, recently said that any actor linked to the role in the press could be discounted.

“As soon as the papers say, ‘So and so is being considered as the next James Bond’, you know that they’re not going to be the next James Bond, you know that they’ve been rejected,” he said.

“Eon (Productions) who make the films play their cards very close to the chest and a lot of times they really surprise people… they’re pretty clever on that front and they will inevitably wait to make the announcement at the right time to get the maximum amount of publicity.”

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