“I’d love to be in the film”: Sylvester Stallone Had to Turn Down Barbie for Taylor Sheridan But Still Managed to Leave His Imprint Through Ryan Gosling

In the second half of the movie, Ryan Gosling's portrayal of Ken is literally him channelling his inner Sylvester Stallone. Here's how Stallone almost landed the role as Ken, and instead ended up inspiring it.

“I’d love to be in the film”: Sylvester Stallone Had to Turn Down Barbie for Taylor Sheridan But Still Managed to Leave His Imprint Through Ryan Gosling

SUMMARY

  • Sylvester Stallone confessed to Jimmy Fallon that he was almost cast as Ken in the Barbie movie.
  • Unfortunately, his busy schedule and commitments to Tulsa King clashed with the filming dates of the movie.
  • Despite missing out on a starring role in the Barbie movie, Stallone's imprint on Ken's character was undeniable.
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Guess what? Sylvester Stallone was almost cast as a Ken. Yes, among all the star-studded cast, Stallone was also considered for a role to begin with. But alas, scheduling conflicts dashed those hopes. However, Stallone’s influence lingered and ended up becoming one of the most important parts of the story, shaping Ken’s wardrobe during his “patriarchal rules” phase. Here’s how it all played out!

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Sylvester Stallone in Rocky III poster
Sylvester Stallone in Rocky III poster

Sylvester Stallone Was Almost in the Barbie Movie

In the most recent episode of The Tonight Show, Hollywood actor and action superstar Sylvester Stallone made a guest appearance and dropped a bombshell revelation. Stallone confessed to Jimmy Fallon that he was almost cast as Ken in the Barbie movie.

The film grossed over a billion dollars at the box office, causing waves in the entertainment industry and leaving a lasting impact on pop culture. Stallone’s potential involvement in such a blockbuster would undoubtedly have been a significant moment, here’s what happened. The actor narrated,

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“The director said, “Do you want to be in the film?” I said, “I’d love to be in the film.” And then I was stuck on Tulsa King, so I couldn’t be on. And then they took kind of my image, and with Ryan [Gosling]. And it was, like, amazing. So that’s the story… They put him in a fur coat.”

Ryan Gosling as Ken in a still from Barbie
Ryan Gosling as Ken in a still from Barbie

The Barbie movie was an absolute star-studded fair, ranging from John Cena to Dua Lipa, surprise appearances as well as the cast list dazzled. Yet, the ensemble could have been even more dazzling had Sylvester Stallone been able to join. Unfortunately, his busy schedule and commitments to Tulsa King clashed with the filming dates of the movie. Despite this missed opportunity, this tidbit is simply wild to imagine.

However, it turns out that the idea might not have been as outlandish as people initially thought. Stallone’s unique style actually directly inspired Ryan Gosling’s portrayal of Ken in the film.

Sylvester Stallone’s Influence on Ken’s Style in the Movie

Turns out, the star, Sylvester Stallone’s 90s hero era, namely iconic characters like Rocky and Rambo heavily influenced Ken’s wardrobe and style during his patriarchal phase. Despite missing out on a starring role in the Barbie movie, Stallone’s imprint on Ken’s character was undeniable. Ken’s adoption of Stallone’s tough-guy persona added depth to the film’s narrative, especially during the second half of the film and his iconic fur coat was a direct influence.

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In addition, Jimmy Fallon also revealed a picture of Ken’s training regimen in the gym, adorned with Stallone’s posters everywhere. Thus, it can be said that although the star didn’t appear in the movie, his essence played a significant role.

Ryan Gosling as Ken in Barbie (2023)
Ryan Gosling as Ken in Barbie (2023)

Stallone’s macho persona and rugged characters were significant sources of inspiration for both Gosling and the director, Greta Gerwig. When Gosling needed to muster up that same tough-guy vibe for his role, it can be said that he looked to Stallone’s iconic performances for guidance. Similarly, the director drew upon Stallone’s legacy to shape the overall tone and style of Ken’s character arc. Stallone will always be an icon and this further proves that!

Barbie is currently streaming on Max.

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Written by Sampurna Banerjee

Articles Published: 822

Sampurna Banerjee, an ardent enthusiast of pop culture and movies, pours her passion into her role as a writer for FandomWire. With a penchant for Marvel, DC, and sitcoms, she has contributed over 400 articles, staying up-to-date to the entertainment industry's latest buzz. Moreover, she's penned over 300 articles for Animated Times and shared her work across several Instagram pages. Currently she is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Calcutta University.