These Barbies designed the sets for the highest-grossing film of the year.
Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer, the production designer and set decorator on Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, spent endless days perfecting the look and feel of Barbieland.
But, as they told ABC Audio, not every painstakingly crafted detail made it into the final product.
“There was a scene in a real house in America with a little boy playing with the Ken doll’s house,” Greenwood said, before correcting herself: “the Ken Mojo Dojo Casa House.”
That’s right — they actually made a doll-sized, plastic version of that specific set, down to each and every meticulous detail.
“It had La-Z-Boy sofas that lift back, tiny. Mini fridges. We made the doll as well, with a mink,” Spencer said.
The deleted scene starts as a young boy plays with Ken inside his toy Mojo Dojo Casa House.
“He turns to his sister and goes, ‘Make me a sammy.’ And it was a brilliant scene,” Greenwood said. “It got cut for time and rhythm and everything. But that was the most beautiful prop ever.”
Spencer said it took a while to discover what Kendom — and the now infamous Mojo Dojo Casa House — would look like. Gerwig was firm: she wanted it to be ugly.
“Then we were saying to Greta, ‘Do you really mean this ugly? Do you?’” Spencer said.
She did. “It’s the lack of aesthetic that makes it aesthetic,” Greenwood continued.
At the end of the day, they discovered something poetic in their intentionally ugly Kendom sets.
“The abiding image of all those televisions playing the same footage in slow motion of a horse cantering towards you,” Spencer said. “That captured his melancholia as well as everything else. So many ugly things put together become quite beautiful.”
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