Barbie’s Issa Rae Loved Filming With Greta Gerwig, But Admits The Script Was Confusing At First ‘I Didn’t Get It.’

Issa Rae in Vengeance
(Image credit: Focus Features)

Not much is known about the Barbie movie outside of a few comments from stars like Will Ferrell and Simu Liu. One actor who hasn’t spoken about their role is Insecure star Issa Rae. In the live-action adaptation, Rae will play another Barbie outside of lead star Margot Robbie, but she hasn’t spilled any information about the film. Having wrapped up earlier this year, the Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse star admitted to being confused by the script at first before filming with director Greta Gerwig.

Appearing in one of 2023's upcoming movies was right up Rae’s alley as she loves a good ensemble piece, as evidenced by her appearing in B.J. Novak’s comedy Vengeance early this year. But joining the live-action Barbie was more about reconnecting with Gerwig after the two creatives met years earlier. So, when the toy-to-film adaptation came around, the Lovebirds star jumped at the chance to take a meeting with the Oscar-nominated director. But things didn’t start so well, as Rae explained being put off by Gerwig’s pitch at first.

I had a meeting with Greta. I’d met her once before, at the BAFTAs, and really, really loved her. We got to express our love for each other and for Lady Bird and Insecure. That was years ago, and then at this meeting, she was like, ‘I don’t know if you remember me,’ and I was like, ‘Girl, if you don’t shut up.’ She was explaining the Barbie script to me. She was like, ‘I just need to explain what it is.” And I’ll be 100 percent honest, when she was talking, like, it was entertaining, but I didn’t get it. I was like, ‘I don’t know what the fuck she was talking about, but whatever it is, I’m excited she’s behind it.’ And then reading it was, like, ‘Oh my God, I love her even more.’ And then actually shooting it, it was incredible, one of my favorite experiences.

Issa Rae’s initial recount to Variety about the script makes you wonder what the Little Women director has in store for Barbie fans. At least the writer-producer was upfront about her doubts about the screenplay, which Simu Liu praised earlier this year. But who better share their opinion than the creator of Insecure? She has written countless hours of content between her online work and TV shows, including the HBO Max comedy Rap Sh!t. But once she read the script, her doubts subsided and she joined the Barbie cast.

The fashion doll’s world is filled with endless possibilities. Barbie and co. have lived many lives since the doll came to prominence in 1959. But the synopsis for the live-action film painted a shell-shocked Barbie and Ken entering the real world away from their typical surroundings. If the leaked photos of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling are any indications, moviegoers are in for a fun time.

Of course, Issa Rae didn’t spill anything about her role. She kept the same energy when it came to voicing Jessica Drew in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. The multihyphenate played coy with the rumors before the news was confirmed. The animated film is set to premiere a month before Barbie hits theaters. Until both films arrive next year, there are still new movies left to drop in 2022.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).