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‘Barbie’ World Premiere: Simu Liu Says The Kens Worked Out While the Barbies Had Sleepovers

At the world premiere for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie (out July 21!), Simu Liu gave an interesting and witty interview in which he talked about the different bonding practices for the cast. Writer-director Greta Gerwig apparently wanted the Kens to bond in a way that was both physically and mentally challenging, to develop the kind of camaraderie (and Ken-ergy) she believed would be essential for their characters. On the other hand, the actresses had fun, relaxing and “sexy” Barbie-themed sleepovers to get into character!

What did Simu Liu say about building Ken-ergy with his co-stars?

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Liu, who stars as another Ken in the movie, told E! News: “Greta was very deliberate in what she wanted the Kens to do to bond, which was to gym together. So, while the Barbies were having a nice, relaxing night, the Kens were just male aggression and testosterone, lifting things and flexing and all that. That was the chosen bonding ritual for the Kens.” The Shang-Li star also spoke about his experience working out specifically with co-star Ryan Gosling, commenting that Gosling was incredibly disciplined and dedicated to his workouts. “No matter how early I went [to the gym], he was always there,” Liu said. “He always stayed later than me. Sp, I really saw the discipline and I really saw the Ken-ergy.” Liu added with a grin, “Viewers will get to see the Ken-ergy — when they see Ryan’s torso. And the rest of him!”

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Simu Liu also told the outlet that the cast of Barbie bonded off-screen as well as on, as in addition to lifting weights together, they also “had a lot of dinners, a lot of hangs.” Liu mentions also having developed a competitive streak with fellow Ken Scott Evans. “Scott and I had a very, very, very long and very contentious table tennis rivalry that lasted over the course of the entire production of the movie,” he said. “I hope I get to see him again soon because I need to get him back.”

“What I love about this movie, myself included of course, is that there’s lots of Barbies and lots of Kens. It started as one thing and thankfully has kind of evolved to be more inclusive, to be more diverse.”

Simu Liu

What was the bonding assignment for the actresses on the set of ‘Barbie’?

Source: Getty Images (from The Kelly Clarkson Show)

As for the cast’s female counterparts, Liu mentioned to PEOPLE magazine that “the Kens were allowed to either visit briefly or to phone in and say hi”  during the Barbie-themed sleepover for the actresses which included Margot Robbie, America Ferrera, and Kate McKinnon. Issa Rae apparently missed out on the sleepover, telling People that she “was so sad”, and another cast member reportedly misunderstood the sleepovers theme. On The Kelly Clarkson Show, Ferrera remembered showing up to the relaxing bonding event in “the most grandma floral twin set you could imagine… nobody told me that it was a sexy Barbie sleepover.” Margot Robbie further explained the activities the stars engaged in, saying: “We all shared beds, wore our pajamas, ordered room service, played games, and found out that America is exceptionally competitive.”