Director Greta Gerwig recently discussed the feminist undertones of her upcoming Barbie film in an exclusive interview with Rollingstone. While some Mattel executives may have distanced themselves from these themes, Gerwig confidently shared her perspective on the matter.
Gerwig emphasized that she perceives the film as humanist rather than purely feminist, highlighting its focus on broader themes of humanity. In Barbieland, the world inhabited by the iconic doll, Barbie seamlessly blends into her environment, and even the houses lack walls, symbolizing a lack of shame or embarrassment. Gerwig sees this contrast between Barbieland and the real world as a representation of the essence of human existence—yearning for the ability to hide when faced with discomfort.
During the production process, Gerwig observed an intriguing real-life occurrence that mirrored the film’s narrative. While filming on Venice Beach with actors Margot and Ryan dressed in eye-catching neon rollerblading outfits, people passing by would enthusiastically acknowledge Ryan, offering high-fives and compliments on his appearance. However, they would merely gaze at Margot without uttering a word. Gerwig found this experience surreal, noting the stark difference in reactions and the unique discomfort it created for each actor.
Furthermore, Gerwig emphasized the importance of presenting a counterargument to the universally beloved Barbie character in the movie. She expressed her gratitude towards Mattel for their openness to exploring this aspect, as she believed it was essential to provide intellectual and emotional power to opposing viewpoints. Gerwig was determined not to present a distorted reality and emphasized the necessity of addressing this perspective authentically.
In summary, Greta Gerwig’s interview shed light on the humanist approach of her Barbie film, which delves into feminist themes while exploring the contrasting experiences of the iconic doll and the real world. Gerwig’s insights reflect her commitment to presenting a nuanced narrative and her appreciation for Mattel’s willingness to engage in these discussions.