Michael Cera emailed Barbie director Greta Gerwig personally to secure his role as Allan in the Margot Robbie-Ryan Gosling-starrer after his manager took a pass at the offer, the actor revealed in a GQ interview conducted before the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike in the US.
“My manager got a call checking on my availability for it, and he called me and he said, ‘I got a call about this movie. It’s the Barbie movie. Greta Gerwig’s directing it, and it’s filming in London for four months of something, so I told them you probably wouldn’t want to to do it because you probably don’t want to go to London’,” Cera said.
“It was kind of a very last-minute casting,” he added, talking about his experience of landing a role in the film that earned over USD 1 billion globally, breaking several records.
Cera was surprised to hear that his manager had turned down the offer, he said, recalling how he insisted his manager to “call them back”.
Later, the 35-year-old Canadian actor took matters in his own hand and got hold of Greta Gerwig’s email address from one of their common friends and contacted her. “I was like, ‘Can I do that part?’,” said Cera. The director responded immediately, asking him to get on a Zoom call with her immediately.
In Greta’s Barbie, Cera portrays Allan, the shy and awkward friend of Ken (Ryan Gosling). There are multiple Ken dolls living in Barbie Land alongside countless Barbie dolls but there is only one Allan.
“Allan is a sad figure…he fell by the wayside a little bit,” said the actor, adding that Allan is a person that doesn’t really have any place in the world.
Cera also revealed that his character, Allan, is based on a real doll created by the toy brand Mattel in the year 1967 which had a very short production run because “it just wasn’t selling”. “I think the world just didn’t need Ken to have a friend, to supplement the wing of the Barbie doll collection,” he said.
Barbie has collected a whopping USD 1.2 billion globally and over USD 537 million in the United States and Canada alone, emerging as Warner Bros.' most successful domestic release ever after Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight.