People reports that Greta Gerwig and Kate McKinnon have a history of performing together. Decades before “Barbie,” they were both involved with theatre and improvisational comedy in college, including Columbia University’s famed annual Varsity Show. Greta Gerwig graduated from Barnard College, and Kate McKinnon graduated from Columbia University, both in 2006. According to Gerwig, they would frequently work together on creative projects as students, and “Barbie” was a fantastic and unexpected opportunity for them to combine their talents once again:
“We made really wonderfully strange musicals together when we were in college. We were just 19 making a weird musical together and thinking like, ‘I hope someone will wanna work with us one day.’ Then cut to 39 and to just be calling her and saying, ‘Do you wanna be in this big thing?’ … We just both started laughing because there was something about it where in some ways, hopefully, we’ve grown and changed and developed as artists and in other ways, we’re doing exactly what we were doing at 19.”
Their collaboration in “Barbie” is an amazing full-circle moment that makes their partnership in the film even more meaningful. Having worked together in the past, Greta Gerwig and Kate McKinnon are on the same comedic wavelength — understanding exactly the type of eccentric humor required for the story and the character of Weird Barbie. McKinnon playfully blends subtle and broad comedic elements, delivers lines with flawless timing, and fully immerses herself in the wackiness of a very worn-out yet all-knowing Barbie doll.