LONDON: Who knew a Barbie movie could cause such chaos? Greta Gerwig’s upcoming film about the iconic doll required a staggering amount of pink paint, so much so that it wiped out an entire company’s global supply.
In a recent interview with the American design magazine Architectural Digest, the director, together with production designer Sarah Greenwood and set decorator Katie Spencer, spoke about the construction of “Barbieland,” a whimsical world where everything, from roads to lampposts, is covered in fluorescent pink.
During the interview, Greenwood, a six-time Oscar nominee, revealed that “Barbie” caused an international pink paint shortage.
“The world ran out of pink,” she declared.
While some media outlets ran with the story, Lauren Proud, vice president of global marketing at Rosco, the paint company used by the film, offered some perspective to the Los Angeles Times.
Proud confirmed that the film “used as much paint as we had,” but explained that the “Barbie” production coincided with global supply chain issues during COVID-19 and extreme weather in Texas, which impacted the materials needed for the paint.
“There was this shortage and then we gave them everything we could — I don’t know they can claim credit,” Proud said, but admitted: “They did clean us out on paint.”
Gerwig told Architectural Digest that the eye-popping pink was key to “maintaining the ‘kid-ness’” of the film’s aesthetic.
The “Barbieland” design drew inspiration from the Kaufmann House in Palm Springs, Wayne Thiebaud paintings, movie “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” and “An American in Paris.”
Gerwig said: “I wanted the pinks to be very bright, and everything to be almost too much,” emphasizing her desire to capture the essence of what made her fall in love with Barbie as a child.
“Why walk down stairs when you can slide into your pool? Why trudge up stairs when you take an elevator that matches your dress?” said Gerwig.
Thankfully, the set designers managed to secure just enough paint for production, which mostly took place at Warner Bros Studios Leavesden in the UK.
The star-studded “Barbie” movie features an A-list cast including Margot Robbie as Barbie, Ryan Gosling as Ken, and an ensemble cast including Will Ferrell, Simu Liu, Dua Lipa, Helen Mirren, Issa Rae, America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Michael Cera, and Ncuti Gatwa.
After initial rumors of a possible ban in the Middle East and North Africa region, the production house confirmed that one of the most anticipated films of the year would be released in cinemas worldwide on July 21.