Saoirse Ronan says she was meant to be ‘a weird Barbie’ in Greta Gerwig’s film

Irish actress Saoirse Ronan has said she was meant to be “a weird Barbie” in the Greta Gerwig-directed film about the popular Mattel doll.

The US-born actress, 29, who starred in Gerwig’s 2017 movie Lady Bird and her 2019 adaptation of Little Women, said she would have starred alongside Saturday Night Live comedian Kate McKinnon, who played the actual “Weird Barbie”.

Australian actress Margot Robbie was cast as the main character, while Ryan Gosling played her boyfriend Ken in the film, directed by Gerwig 40, and co-written with her partner Noah Baumbach.

Little Women Photocall – London
Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh and Greta Gerwig, attend the Little Women photocall (Lia Toby/PA)

Speaking to US publication Variety about the cameo that never happened, Ronan said: “I was definitely going to be a weird Barbie.

“I don’t know how to take that, you know?

“I mean, I would have been with Kate McKinnon, so that would have been nice.

“But yeah, I worked with Jacqueline Durran, the costume designer.

“After they’d made it, I was like, who was I going to be anyway?

“Because I had a scene, but didn’t ever get to do it and I wasn’t in the movie… and she was like, ‘Oh, obviously you are going to be a really weird Barbie, Saoirse’.”

Reflecting on what her Barbie could have been like, Ronan said: “I think I’d be the very strange girl that talked to herself and always had her pet dog with her all the time and she just talked to the dog and wouldn’t look at anyone.”

Gerwig had revealed to entertainment site Cinema Blend in July 2023 that Ronan and Wonka actor Timothee Chalamet were meant to have a “specialty cameo”, but said the actress was producing at the time.

Graham Norton Show – London
Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet during the filming for the Graham Norton Show (Isabel Infantes/PA)

“Both of them couldn’t do it, and I was so annoyed,” she said.

Ronan had told US publication People in September 2022 she was “gutted” that she could not make a cameo in the film.

Chalamet starred opposite Ronan in Little Women, as Laurie, and played her character’s love interest, Kyle, in Lady Bird.

Following Barbie’s release, Warner Bros said the movie contributed more than £80 million to the UK economy.

The film has been nominated for a slew of awards and won the first Golden Globe for cinematic and box office achievement.

Ronan has starred in films that include Atonement (2007), The Lovely Bones (2009), Hanna (2011), Brooklyn (2015) and The French Dispatch (2021).