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Kate McKinnon’s Weird Barbie was inspired by David Bowie

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Barbie star Margot Robbie has opened up about the inspiration behind Kate McKinnon’s Weird Barbie.

McKinnon’s zanily dressed character was one of the many iterations of the doll seen in the Greta Gerwig satirical comedy, which recently became the highest-grossing film of 2023.

In a new featurette for the film (via Entertainment Weekly), Robbie provided some background detail on the character, noting that she was partly inspired by David Bowie.


“Greta described Weird Barbie in the script as a cross between David Bowie and a hairless cat,” she said. “It is so strangely accurate.”

Gerwig added: “Weird Barbie is truly the Barbie you’d play with too much. You’d brush out her hair and then you decided you want to cut it, then you’d see what happens if you light it on fire and draw all over her face.

“You put her in the splits and try to change her clothes. I had this idea like, ‘Well, we have to have a Barbie that represents that fate of so many Barbies’. I wanted her to be funny and wise.”

Greta Gerwig
‘Barbie’ director Greta Gerwig. Credit: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty

The director went on to praise McKinnon, whom she has known since she was a teenager, saying: “I always thought she was most talented person I’ve ever met. It was really special when we were on set together. It was a very full-circle moment.”

In other Barbie news, the record-breaking film is now available in the UK and US as a digital download, having had its home entertainment release pushed back several times due to film’s continued success at the box office. The movie is now set to show on IMAX screens for a limited time only.


Barbie was recently crowned the biggest movie of the year after crossing the $1.36billion mark at the global box office, surpassing The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

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