Gosling's epic cover of the hit 1996 track serves as major moment in 'Barbie.'
Spoilers Ahead: Please do not continue reading if you have not yet watched Barbie.
Performed by Gosling (Ken), the stellar scene features Gosling sitting around a campfire and strumming his guitar as he sings the song at Margot Robbie (Barbie) for hours on end.
The hilarious scene marks a turning point in the film, as Barbie and her fellow dolls attempt to distract the Kens and take back Barbieland. After a visit to the real world, Gosling's Ken transformed the land into "Kendom," a patriarchal world filled with all the things he thinks make a man -- horses, sports, Sylvester Stallone style and The Godfather very much included.
Speaking about the song's use in the film, Thomas told USA Today he was initially worried that the rock group might become the butt of a joke. It wasn't until he got a full grasp of the scene that he truly found the moment "hilarious."
"I want to preface this by saying that I thought it was hilarious. But in Bring It On, [Kirsten Dunst's character has this douchey boyfriend. And there’s a scene where he was in his dorm room with a Matchbox Twenty poster in the background," Thomas explained. "There was a whole period during the ‘90s where the more successful we got, the bigger target we were. We were an easy takedown."
He continued, "When I got the call for Barbie, they told me, 'Ken’s by the fireside, he's playing the song and it;' his favorite band.' So, I did this thinking I'd be the butt of the joke, and I was fine with that. I'm pretty thick-skinned. But Julie Greenwald (from Atlantic Records) came to the Hollywood Bowl a month or two ago. She had just seen the movie and was like, 'You come out of it loving Ken and loving 'Push.'" And I was like, 'Aww. Alright, really good!'"
As for how the song got in Barbie in the first place, the film's director, Greta Gerwig told the outlet it's a song she listened to as a teen.
"Growing up, I loved that song. I was like, 'This is my rock 'n' roll, Dad. Enjoy The Who, but these are my guys,'" Gerwig shared. And it wasn't until college that I actually thought, 'What is that song about?' Just thinking about 13-year-old me singing along and really meaning it, I was like, 'That is so interesting.' I looked it up and, in a way, [Thomas] was playing a character. It’s almost like a story song."
It's hard to imagine anyone else taking on the role and singing "Push" -- and that was literally the case for Gerwig, too. The director and co-writer revealed in a Sirius XM interview that Gosling was written into the script as the character "Ken Ryan Gosling," and joked, "We pretty much wouldn't take no for an answer."
"We just kept bothering you," Gerwig admitted to Gosling during the joint interview with film's stars. "Margot was like, 'Is it weird if I go to his house?' I was like, 'Don't go to his house. We're just gonna stay put.' Send a follow-up text." As Margot teased, "I would see a sea of blue on my phone."
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