This Ken is not taking any crap from haters who disapprove of his casting in Barbie.
In a new interview, Ryan Gosling fired back at alleged zoomers (members of Gen Z) who deemed him "too old" to play Barbie's beach-loving beau on social media.
The 42-year-old actor stars in the highly anticipated Greta Gerwig film alongside Margot Robbie, 32.
"It is funny ... this kind of clutching-your-pearls idea of, like, #notmyken," Gosling told GQ in a cover story published on May 31.
"Like you ever thought about Ken before this?
"If people don't want to play with my Ken, there are many other Kens to play with," he added.
Though the buzzy posters for Barbie describe Gosling's role as "just Ken," the dazzling movie trailers and the actor's passion for his character suggest there is more to Ken than meets the eye.
"Suddenly, it's like, 'No, we've cared about Ken this whole time'," Gosling continued.
"No, you didn't. You never did. You never cared. Barbie never (expletive) with Ken. That's the point. If you ever really cared about Ken, you would know that nobody cared about Ken. So your hypocrisy is exposed. This is why his story must be told."
As more details about and hype for Barbie have emerged, a handful of people online have expressed the unpopular opinion that Gosling has aged out of the Ken demographic.
A recent New York Post headline identified Gosling's detractors as "Gen Z Barbie fans"; however, their ages are not immediately clear from their social media profiles.
"ryan gosling is too ugly and too old to be playing ken, they should've casted henry cavill or chris evans bye," one person tweeted. (For the record, Cavill is 40 and Evans is 41.)
"I like Ryan Gosling but idk why he looks a little too old and dry," another person tweeted. "Not sure if it's because of the hair or tan but he needed some moisturizer."
For what it's worth, the product description for Mattel's Ken 60th Anniversary Doll – celebrating Ken's 1961 debut – does not specify how old Barbie's original boyfriend was intended to be.
And the majority of Barbie enthusiasts seem to be in favour of Gosling portraying Ken – defending the two-time Oscar nominee's signature good looks and acting chops.
"I care about this dude now," Gosling told GQ. "I'm like his representative. 'Ken couldn't show up to receive this award, so I'm here to accept it for him'."
Warner Bros. Pictures' Barbie opens in theatres July 20 in Malaysia. – Los Angeles Times/Tribune News Service