Since Barbie is on track to become the top grossing film of 2023, it feels like everyone wants a taste of its success. That's why, looking back, it's wild to think someone would miss out on being part of it. But it almost happened, and one of the audience's favorite characters from the movie almost looked entirely different. As Michael Cera, who plays Allan, recently revealed, his manager almost passed on the role, and he had to personally reach out to director Greta Gerwig to get the opportunity back.
Cera recalled this story in an interview with GQ about his most iconic roles. This list now features Ken's almost forgotten and looked over friend Allan. “Allan is a sad figure,” Cera says about his character. “He’s just a person that doesn’t really have any place in the world.” As the movie makes clear, there's only one of Allan, unlike the myriad of Kens who live in Barbieland. And while it's almost impossible to detach him from the character now, it turns out his casting happened “very last-minute,” according to him.
“My manager got a call checking on my availability for it, and he called me and he said, ‘I got a call about this movie, it’s the Barbie movie, Greta Gerwig’s directing it, and it’s filming in London for four months or something,” Cera recalls. “So I told them you probably wouldn’t want to do it because you probably don’t want to go to London.’”
The Scott Pilgrim star couldn't believe his ears. “I was like, ‘What?! What do you mean? Call them back!’” he continues. “I mean, he didn’t blow it or anything, but he’s like, ‘I managed their expectations that you might not want to do it.’ And I was like, ‘How could I not do it? I need to do it.’”
Luckily, Cera got Gerwig's email address through some friends in common, and messaged her to let her know that he wanted the role. “I emailed her like, ‘Can I be in it? Can I do that part?’” Cera says. As if by fate, Gerwing replied quickly. “She was like, ‘Let’s get on a Zoom right now. Here’s a Zoom link, I’ll be on there for the next hour.’ So she was just hanging out on the Zoom, like, ‘Click the link whenever you’re ready.’ And then we talked about it, and it just all happened really fast from there.” The rest is history, and Allan became a fan favorite among those who have seen Barbie in theaters.
On top of being in the biggest blockbuster of the summer, Cera has some other projects lined up. The movie The Adults, where he stars alongside Hannah Gross and Sophia Lillis, just came out. Cera will also be reprising his role of Scott Pilgrim for the anime version of the comics that is scheduled to hit Netflix in mid-November.
Since Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwing, is now on track to become the top grossing film of 2023, it's wild to think someone would miss out on being part of it.
But Michael Cera, who plays Allan, recently revealed that his manager almost passed on the role, and he had to personally reach out to director Greta Gerwig to get the opportunity back.
Watch Cera tell the story of his casting as Allan in the video below: