Greta Gerwig thought that directing Barbie might be a “career-ender” and became “terrified” of helming the movie.
The American actor, writer and director said that she was filled with an equal sense of dread and excitement before production kicked off. Speaking on Dua Lipa‘s podcast At Your Service [as per EW], the Lady Bird writer said: “It was terrifying.
“I think that was a big part of it, I think there’s something about starting from that place where it’s like, ‘Well, anything is possible!’ It felt like vertigo starting to write it. Like, where do you even begin? What would be the story?”
However, she revealed that her doom-laden thoughts actually helped her decision about taking on the movie. Despite feeling daunted before filming began, Gerwig praised Barbie for pushing her to leave her comfort zone.
“That feeling that I had was knowing that it would be really interesting terror. Usually that’s where the best stuff is,” Gerwig explained. “When you’re like, ‘I am terrified of that.’ Anything where you’re like, ‘This could be a career-ender,’ then you’re like, ‘Ok, I probably should do it’.”
She went on to say that toy-maker Mattel didn’t pressure her during the process either. “Mattel were amazing partners who have given us such trust and such freedom and I think that that is incredibly rare,” Gerwig said.
She added: “Whatever we wanted it to be, they did not try to micromanage it. They were completely onboard as partners and that was extraordinary.”
The film stars Suicide Squad’s Margot Robbie as Barbie and The Gray Man’s Ryan Gosling as her ever-lasting love interest, Ken. Robbie is also serving as co-producer on the project.
The plot of the film has been kept largely under wraps, with an official synopsis simply reading: “Barbie lives in Barbie Land and then a story happens.” Aside from its leading stars, the film has more than a hint of A-lister talent, with the likes of Michael Cera, Will Ferrell, and Simu Lui also attached to the project.
Barbie is slated to hit UK cinemas on July 21, 2023.