Ryan Gosling dug deep into the shallow end to play Ken in 'Barbie'

(NOTE LANGUAGE) In a wide-ranging interview with GQ, Ryan Gosling talks about his career, his family life and the hype around playing Ken in Barbie.

The 42-year-old actor says of the famously insignificant other to the titular doll, "Ken, his job is beach."

He adds, "For 60 years, his job has been beach. What the f*** does that even mean?"

Still, the dad to two doll-playing daughters with Eva Mendes brought some real-world experience to the role. "I did see him [a Ken], like, face down in the mud outside one day, next to a squished lemon," the actor recalls, "and it was like, this guy's story does need to be told, you know?"

Gosling said he "touched base" with his kid performer self to bring the plastic himbo to life. "There’s something about this Ken that really, I think, relates to that version of myself," he admits.

"Just, like, the guy that was putting on [MC] Hammer pants and dancing at the mall and smelling like Drakkar Noir and Aqua Net-ing bangs. I owe that kid a lot."

Like Ken, The New Mickey Mouse Club version of Gosling "didn't know what he was doing or why he was doing it, he was just doing it."

He also says it's "funny" that online snarkers complained of his casting. "This kind of clutching-your-pearls idea of, like, #notmyken. Like you ever thought about Ken before this?" he asks.

"But suddenly, it's like, 'No, we've cared about Ken this whole time.' No, you didn't. You never did ... If you ever really cared about Ken, you would know that nobody cared about Ken. So your hypocrisy is exposed."

He adds, "This is why his story must be told."

Barbie opens July 21.

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