A star of the TV series Succession says the viral pink marketing drive promoting the upcoming Barbie film has left her feeling “bullied into being excited” about it.
J. Smith-Cameron, who won an Emmy for her performance as Succession’s Gerri Kellman, expressed her dismay at the “tsunami” of marketing surrounding the film.
The blockbuster, which will be released later this month, features Margot Robbie as the pink-loving titular character and Ryan Gosling as boyfriend Ken.
Its producers launched a multi-million dollar blitz of pink-themed advertising from video games to travel, fashion, food and interior design in the run-up to its July 21 release.
Fans can stay in a real-life version of Barbie’s Malibu DreamHouse via Airbnb next week.
Ken is listed as the mansion’s host and invites guests on the booking site to challenge each other to a “beach off” with “lots of sunbathing and chillaxing in the infinity pool”.
The campaign also includes promotions for an Architectural Digest tour of the plastic fantastic set and a host of branded merchandise including: suitcases, Xbox controllers, electric toothbrushes and makeup.
The film’s sets used so much pink paint that it wiped out one company’s worldwide supply, Greta Gerwig, its director, said last month, and the relentless promotional campaign seemed too much for of an actor.
J. Smith-Cameron tweeted on Friday: “Is anyone feeling bullied excited about the Barbie movie.”
He later clarified that while he had hoped to enjoy the film, “the sales were like a tsunami” and he felt he had “drained too much pink”.
Later he added:
Gerwig, in an interview with The Observer, said she aimed to create something “anarchic and wild and completely bananas” while writing the film’s script.
He said: “It felt like, ‘well, if we ever get back to cinemas again, we’re going to do something out of the ordinary’.”
He said he felt the anarchy in his Barbie from the “deep isolation of the pandemic” when society experienced “that feeling of being in our own little boxes, alone”.
The main trailer for the film sees Barbie living a perfect life until things start to go wrong, including losing the ability to glide from her roof and finding her signature arched feet that fall flat.
Barbie and Ken then enter the “real world” where they are captured and hunted by Will Ferrell, who plays the fictional chief executive of the doll factory Mattel.
Asked to describe the film, in which there are several incarnations of different models of Barbie and Ken played by other actors, Gerwig said: “There are many ways to go about it.
“The idea of Barbieland. The idea of Barbie herself is repressed by a lot of people.
“The idea that the self is dispersed among many people, that all these girls are Barbie and Barbie is all these girls. That was a little trippy to begin with.
“And the feeling that he goes on around him. That there is no internal life at all, because there is no need to have an internal life.”