Moviegoers have Ryan Gosling’s daughters to thank for his upcoming Ken role.

Gosling, who is playing the boyfriend to Margot Robbie’s starring doll in the upcoming live-action Barbie movie, shared the reason he signed on to play the iconic toy beau during a visit to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

First, he says he loved the script, co-written and directed by Greta Gerwig, who emailed him with an offer for the part. Then, he received a sign.

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“Best script I’ve ever read. I walk out in the backyard and, do you know where I found Ken, Jimmy? Face down in the mud next to a squished lemon,” said Gosling of his daughters’ Ken doll. Gosling took a photo of what he found and texted it to Gerwig saying, “I shall be your Ken, for this story must be told.”

Fallon acknowledged that Gosling, who has two daughters, aged 6 and 7, with partner Eva Mendes, “broke the internet” when his real-life version of Ken was revealed. And the pair, who are each dads to two daughters of similar age, also joked about the overlooked role Ken plays in the Barbie universe.

“Nobody plays with Ken,” said Gosling. “He was … available,” offered Fallon.

“And yet?” Gosling asked. “He stayed in the toy box,” Fallon confirmed.

“He’s an accessory — and not even one of the cool ones,” said Gosling, as the pair bonded over their shared pain of assembling a Barbie Dreamhouse.

While doing press for his latest movie, The Gray Man, Gosling has also been describing Ken as having no home and no job, which he wanted to clarify: “Those are not plot details. These are just objective facts about Ken. That’s the Ken life.”

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The Barbie movie has been in development for eight years and underwent several changes, with Amy Schumer and Anne Hathaway circling the role during previous iterations. Helmed by Gerwig, the supporting cast includes America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon, Ariana Greenblatt, Alexandra Shipp, Emma Mackey, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Issa Rae, Michael Cera, Rhea Perlman and Will Ferrell.

The Warner Bros. film is set to hit theaters on July 21, 2023.

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