Greta Gerwig Wanted Ryan Gosling To Play Ken Thanks To One SNL Sketch

“We actually, in writing it, cast Ryan, like we wrote his name into the script and everything… and [Gosling’s name] was everywhere,” Gerwig continued, admitting she and partner and co-writer Noah Baumbach simply wrote the part for Gosling and just hoped for the best. “And then when we handed them the script, the studio was like ‘Oh, it’s so wonderful that you know Ryan.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know Ryan. I’ve never met Ryan, I have no idea.’”

Gerwig is right; Gosling’s “Saturday Night Live” appearances have been uniformly excellent since his first-ever hosting gig in 2015. His second gig came in 2017 and brought that Weekend Update sketch with it, but real Gosling-heads (Geese?) know his two best sketches are “Papyrus” and “Santa Baby.” In the former, a pre-taped sketch, Gosling’s character has a full mental breakdown over the fact that “Avatar” uses the Papyrus font in its logo — and his future “Barbie” co-star Kate McKinnon pops up in that one as his concerned therapist. “Santa Baby” casts Gosling as a man who’s entirely too excited about Santa, to perhaps a dangerous degree… as is his wife, an equally and delightfully deranged Vanessa Bayer. Both sketches highlight just how deeply Gosling commits to a bit, which is exactly what makes him so perfect in “Barbie” — so Gerwig was right to pay attention during his “Saturday Night Live” stints.

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