Ryan Gosling’s Viral Oscars Performance of ‘I’m Just Ken’ Almost Didn’t Happen

Originally, Gosling said "100% no" to performing at the Academy Awards

Ryan Gosling Im Just Ken Oscars CAT2
PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Ryan Gosling bringing the Kenergy to the 2024 Oscars and performing “I’m Just Ken” is a moment I, a longtime Barbie fan, will never forget. So, imagine my surprise when I heard the Barbie star reveal on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that he initially said “100% no” to doing the Oscar performance.

The 43-year-old actor appeared on the episode that aired on April 11 and explained the reason behind his initial decision. “There’s a lot of ways that could go wrong,” he told Jimmy Fallon. 

On the night of the Oscars, Gosling and his other Barbie co-stars—Simu Lu, Ncuti Gatwa and Kingsley Ben-Adir—took center stage to perform the catchy musical number featured in the film.

While donning his best hot pink attire and black sunglasses, Gosling performed alongside Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash and Wolfgang Van Halen. At one point, the Barbie star walked offstage and sang with his fellow castmates Margot Robbie, America Ferrera and the film’s director, Greta Gerwig. So iconic. 

Gosling also shared what his two daughters (Esmeralda Amada, 9, and Amada Lee, 7) really thought of his “I’m Just Ken” performance. “Dad’s kenning again,” he said with a smile. “I mean it was their interest in Barbie and their disinterest in Ken that sort of started all of this.”

“It’s really been a team effort,” Gosling added. “They were on the film and they came to set when I filmed the number but it’s also been like a lot of this has no context for them.”

Ryan Gosling Performing Im Just Ken CAT
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Gosling also shared that the “I’m Just Ken” performance was the first live show his little girls (who he shares with his wife, Eva Mendes) ever watched. “They knew all the choreography better than I do,” he jokingly said. “And the songs, oh my God, they’re backstage kind of like showing me that you know.”

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Assistant Editor, News And Entertainment

Karelle McKay is the Assistant Editor of News and Entertainment at PureWow. Before she started writing about all things pop culture, she was a literal couch potato who loved...