Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie is one of the most highly-anticipated releases of the pop culture calendar thanks in part to its tongue-in-cheek take on the classic toy’s image, but mostly due to its truly stellar cast.
In addition to Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken, the film also features a whole panoply of supporting Barbies and Kens played by the likes of Simu Liu, Ncuti Gatwa, Issa Rae, Dua Lipa, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Hari Nef, Kate McKinnon, and Scott Evans, each of whom is embodying a different version of the famous dolls, including doctor, president, cowboy, and mermaid.
The movie will also include a cameo by wrestler-turned-actor John Cena, who will once again have fun with his stereotypical tough guy image by playing a muscular merman.
During a recent appearance on the Today show while promoting the forthcoming action sequel Fast X, the former WWE star revealed that his casting in Barbie was a “happy accident,” and explained the coincidental meeting that led to him getting the part.
“I think Barbie and Fast X share a lot of parallels. Their cast lists are amazing,” he said, adding that he essentially asked the film’s lead: “Hey, would you guys be willing to have me if I could do something?”
Cena and Robbie know each other, of course, after both starring in the 2021 movie The Suicide Squad as Peacemaker and Harley Quinn respectively. And the two actors had an unexpected reunion when it transpired that Barbie and Fast X were filming right “across the street” from each other.
“In an accidental run-in with Margot Robbie, I said, ‘I will pretty much do whatever you guys need, ’cause I really enjoy the movie,'” Cena explained. “And they asked me if I wanted to be a merman. I said yeah, sure.'”
Barbie is released on July 21.
Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.
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