Barbie is the movie event of the summer, Ana Cruz Kayne is part of the magic. Ana plays one of the many Barbies — Supreme Court Justice Barbie, to be exact — in Barbie Land. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Ana about stepping into the bubblegum-pink Barbie dream world, why the “representation” in Barbie is so pivotal and more. (Note: This interview took place prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike.)
“The Barbies function as a group, so it was like finding your own special thing that made you feel unique and different within the group. My Barbie ended up just being very fun-loving and kind and supportive. The Supreme Court Justice was just sort of handed to me when I got there. She’s a badass lady who loves justice,” Ana told HollywoodLife.
The actress admitted that she didn’t “really relate” to the Barbies she received growing up. “What’s cool about this version of Barbie is there’s so much representation. I was just thinking if I had seen this growing up, I think I would have absolutely played with Barbies and kind of projected my hopes and dreams onto them,” Ana admitted. “There is so much diversity and so much representation that it’s extremely moving. Even watching the trailer and seeing a bunch of us up there together was so moving. It’s so special. I feel like for young girls, boys, everything in between, it’s remarkable. There’s a Barbie for everyone, and they really did an incredible job. I remember being on the set and someone’s saying, we don’t have a Barbie in a hijab. The next day you looked up in one of the dream houses and you’re like, ‘There she is.'”
Ana’s Barbie lives in Barbie Land, a magical, perfect place filled with immaculate Barbie Dream Houses, endless beach, and the most stylish closets. Barbie Land comes to life on screen in the most vivid way with so many bursts of color in the set design.
Ana revealed she had “chills” the first time she stepped onto the Barbie Land set. “I was sort of speechless, and it just was so playful and silly but everything was real and defined to the detail,” Ana noted. “It was really overwhelming, honestly. Once you were there for a while it’s sort of like being in a casino where there’s no air or windows and you have no idea what time of day it is. Your brain doesn’t know the difference here. It’s like, I guess this is where we live. It was the most wonderful. It was like being inside a candy store.”
Barbie Land also includes the Kens, but they’re just the Kens. And then there’s Allan, played to perfection by Michael Cera. “I don’t know if they even saw anybody else,” Ana said about Michael. “I feel like he was perfect. He nailed it… I’ve always admired his work. It’s so genuine and full of heart, but also so perfectly smart. He’s so talented and a one-of-a-kind dude. I’m so excited for you to see him in this movie. It’s Allan’s world, and we’re just living it.”
Ana’s next project is the Netflix series Painkiller, a fictionalized retelling of events about the origins of the opioid crisis in America. “The consequences are so vast, and it’s not an epidemic that anybody talks about. It’s killed so many people.” Ana said about the opioid crisis.
She added, “The work was really meaningful, and the creatives were brilliant. I felt very blessed to be a part of it. It’s a story that I couldn’t tell enough, and they do it in a very specific way… It’s another story of someone going up against this behemoth industry trying to find some kind of justice,” she said. Painkiller will be released on Netflix on August 10.