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Margot Robbie didn’t just have to learn how to play a totally oblivious woman in “Barbie.” She also had to find a way to rationalize her character’s lifestyle. Robbie specifically began to think about how her character’s existence as a plastic doll would and wouldn’t affect how she presents herself. “If she doesn’t have organs, she doesn’t have reproductive organs. If she doesn’t have reproductive organs, would she even feel sexual desire? No, I don’t think she could,” Robbie explained to Vogue. “She is sexualized. But she should never be sexy.”
Just in case Robbie’s character work for “Barbie” wasn’t impressive enough, Gerwig revealed in the same Vogue interview that the film’s story was influenced by the all-too-common moment in many young American girls’ lives when they begin to worry about and conform to the expectations of others. “They’re funny and brash and confident, and then they just—stop,” Gerwig observed. “How is [Barbie’s] journey the same thing that a teenage girl feels? All of a sudden, she thinks, ‘Oh, I’m not good enough.'”
Together, Robbie and Gerwig’s comments prove that “Barbie” is going to be a far more ambitious film than many may have initially expected it to be. Its story promises to be surprisingly complex, and its influences seem to range from sci-fi classics like “The Matrix” to beloved musicals like “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.” With all that in mind, it’s easy to see why her role in “Barbie” may have felt a bit overwhelming at first to Robbie. Fortunately, it sounds like it didn’t take long for her and Gerwig to get on the same page about the upcoming film.