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"I'm Just Ken" Was Almost Cut From "Barbie" — Here's Why

Tonight is Hollywood's biggest night, the Oscars — and one of the many films in contention for Academy gold is Barbie.

Margot Robbie in character as Barbie, sitting in a pink convertible, with a playful expression
Jaap Buitendijk/ ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Among its other nominations, Barbie also racked up two nods for Best Original Song: Billie Eilish's "What Was I Made For"...

And Ryan Gosling's "I'm Just Ken."

Arguably, you could say that Ryan is one of the big stars of this year's Oscars. He's nominated for Best Supporting Actor, and he's set to perform "I'm Just Ken" on the telecast himself.

Screenshot from "Barbie"
/ ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

The performance is rumored to be huge, even by Oscars standards — with more than 65 dancers potentially taking the stage along with Ryan. It's gonna be a big deal.

Screenshot from "Barbie"
/ ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Arguably, you could say that the "I'm Just Ken" performance is the most anticipated part of the telecast — which will make the following fact all the more surprising: The song was almost cut from Barbie entirely.

Screenshot from "Barbie"
/ ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Mark Ronson, one of the two songwriters credited to "I'm Just Ken," revealed the shocking tidbit in a recent interview with Sunday Times Culture.

Closeup of Mark Ronson
Wwd / WWD via Getty Images

“At that first screening the song wasn’t working. I panicked," he recalled, stating that the studio proceeded to confront director Greta Gerwig and ask "how much she really needed" the song to be in the film.

Screenshot from "Barbie"
/ ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

"She said, ‘With every inch of my body.’ And then there was a big swing,” Mark claims, while also admitting that he was still worried the song would be a blight on the film: “I thought, ‘God, I hope we don’t ruin it.'"

Ryan Gosling, Margot Robbie, and Greta Gerwig behind the scenes of filming "Barbie"
/ ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Of course, the rest is history — and as Mark explains, "I'm Just Ken" ended up doing some good for the world, too: “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."

Screenshot from "Barbie"
/ ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

"I never wanted to write a song for a cheap laugh. You want something to get under people’s skin. I know I’ll sound like David Brent, but the song helped young boys. My friend’s eight-year-old got broken up with and he said, ‘It’s OK, because Ken got broken up with by Barbie.’"

Ryan Gosling in character, wearing a denim vest, posing with an intense look, holding a pink object
/ ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

"The song tells boys that it’s OK to be runner-up. The internet’s caused a level of isolation in boys and this idea of male camaraderie and sharing your feelings is a nice and unexpected thing to come out of it.”

Person in sunglasses and fur coat speaking to another person in a hat
/ ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Hear hear! Watch the Oscars tonight at 7 p.m. EST on ABC — and head here for all of our coverage throughout the night and beyond.