Simu Liu knew almost nothing about Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie’s “Barbie” when he agreed to audition for a role in the movie. So why did the “Shang-Chi” actor decide to throw his name into the casting ring? It turns out a junior agent at Liu’s agency convinced the actor to give “Barbie” a go after telling the actor that the film’s script was one of the best he’s ever read.
“He literally said this verbatim,” Liu recently told GQ UK. “He was like, ‘If I could stake my career on any one script, it’s the ‘Barbie’ script. I really think you should do it.’”
Liu sent in a self-tape audition, which led Gerwig to request an in-person meeting where she talked about “how much she loved watching men dance, because it’s such an expression of artistry you’re not used to seeing from typical men.” Liu, wanting to nab a role in the film, told the filmmaker about his dance history with a competitive hip-hop team.
“She audibly guffawed, she giggle-screamed — and then I got the part,” Liu said.
Liu described “Barbie” as “wild” and “incredibly unique,” adding, “I wish I could just show you what we do day-to-day because it’s crazy.” The film is not a musical, but Liu said he’s been in dance rehearsals aplenty for the movie. The actor also teased what it’s like working on a “Greta Gerwig” set.
“When you’re doing a scene and it’s working, you hear, ‘HAHAHAHA!’ It’s the best feeling in the world,” Liu said. “If you’re an asshole on a Greta Gerwig set, there’s no hope for you.”
Gerwig co-wrote the “Barbie” script with her partner and “Frances Ha” collaborator Noah Baumbach. Production on the film is currently underway. A first-look image from the film was shared at CinemaCon last month showing Robbie in Barbie’s trademark pink convertible flashing a megawatt smile and donning a polka dot headband.
“Barbie” will open in theaters July 21, 2023 from Warner Bros.