Two classic Toronto “Kens” set to square off in new Barbie movie

A new Barbie trailer is out for what is shaping up to be the hottest movie of the summer and with it, a new rivalry is set to play out between two Kens with deep Toronto connections pitted against each other.

Now that more trailers and clips have been revealed it looks like Toronto superhero actor Simu Liu is starring in the new Barbie movie as Ken opposite what appears to be the über-Ken in Ryan Gosling.

Michael Cera, another local actor, also appears in the film, but as a character named Allen, which seems about right for him.

The movie stars Margot Robbie as, apparently, one of many Barbies. It is directed by Oscar-nominated writer/director Greta Gerwig (Little Women, Lady Bird).

Gosling, who grew up in nearby London, Ontario, has spent much time in Toronto especially when he was dating fellow actor Rachel McAdams, who was living in the city at the time.

A Ken-type icon since forever, Gosling’s dream-guy bona fides date back to the early days of his career as a member of the Mickey Mouse Club television series to his breakout role in the romantic film The Notebook. He’s been nominated for two Academy Awards for his work in La La Land and Half Nelson.

Gosling told Bustle magazine that he connected instantly with the character, and that Ken vibe has stayed with him.

“I have that Ken-ergy, that you can feel, obviously,” he told Bustle. “I still feel like the Ken-ergy is alive. You know what I mean, no?”

Of course, Liu is no slouch when it comes to Ken-ergy.

Liu was born in China but was raised and still lives in Toronto. He has his own Ken bona fides having started his career as a catalogue model and as a stuntman. He starred in the long-running CBC-TV comedy Kim’s Convenience before landing his breakthrough role in the Marvel movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Should there be even more Toronto Kens? Celebrity chef and actor Matty Matheson seems to think so and he took to social media to make his pitch.

Who will prevail in the great battle of the Kens? Will Matty get his shot? We will have to wait until the movie release on July 21 to find out.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO