With Barbie crossing $1.2 billion at the box office, Michael Cera apparently has a Zoom link to thank for being one of the dolls in director Greta Gerwig‘s collection.
To GQ, in a video interview conducted before the SAG-AFTRA strike, Cera recalled that getting the role of Allan, Ken’s forgettable friend, was the result of some “last-minute casting.”
He explains, “My manager got a call checking on my availability for it, and he called me and he said, ‘I got a call about this movie. It’s the Barbie movie. Greta Gerwig’s directing it, and it’s filming in London for four months or something, so I told them you probably wouldn’t want to do it because you probably don’t want to go to London."”
Cera then exclaims, “I was like, ‘What! Call them back!’ He didn’t like blow it or anything, but he’s like, ‘I managed their expectations that you might not want to do it.’ I was like, ‘How can I not do it? I need to do it!"”
The Arrested Development veteran explained he was able to wrangle Gerwig’s email from a mutual friend and implored the director to be in her film. “And she was like, ‘…Here’s a Zoom link, I’ll be on there for the next hour.’ …And…it just all happened really fast from there.”
Cera calls Allan a “sad figure,” noting, “He’s just a person that doesn’t really have any place in the world.”
Mattel apparently thought so, too, at one point, discontinuing the character shortly after it was introduced in 1964. “It just wasn’t selling,” Cera said with a laugh. “The world just didn’t need for Ken to have a friend…So Allan fell by the wayside a little bit.”
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