Mark Ronson Reveals Why 'I'm Just Ken' Was Almost Cut From 'Barbie'

By Logan DeLoye

March 13, 2024

Photo: Getty Images

"I'm Just Ken" almost didn't make it into the final cut of Barbie.

According to Billboard, director Greta Gerwig had to "fight" to get the beloved Barbie hit past the first screening, let alone into the final cut. Mark Ronson, executive soundtrack producer and "I'm Just Ken" co-writer, spoke with the Sunday Times just before the Oscars on Sunday, March 10th, to detail the process behind getting the track into the 2023 blockbuster film.

“At that first screening the song wasn’t working. I panicked. The humor wasn’t translating. Greta had to fight. The studio asked her how much she really needed it and she said, ‘with every inch of my body.’ And then there was a big swing.”

Ronson recognized that Ken's character was "ridiculous," but noted that he still went through intense emotions throughout the film while being continuously cast aside by Barbie. "I'm Just Ken" highlights this pain in a satirical manner that helps viewers relate to Ken on a deeper level.

“Ken is ridiculous. But Greta’s point was that nobody should ever be laughing at a character. We feel their pain, as crazy as that sounds, about a guy wearing a white mink and two pairs of sunglasses. I never wanted to write a song for a cheap laugh. You want something to get under people’s skin.”

As we all know, "I'm Just Ken" made it into the movie and became such a hit that it received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song. Ryan Gosling was even asked to perform it at the 96th Annual Academy Awards show alongside Ronson, Slash, Wolfgang Van Halen, and other prominent actors and musicians. What started out as an (almost discarded) song idea, evolved into the Billboard chart-topping, award-winning single that we know today.

Mark RonsonBarbie
Advertise With Us
Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.


© 2024 iHeartMedia, Inc.