Watch Ryan Gosling Perform “I’m Just Ken” Live at the Oscars

Estimated read time 3 min read

The Big Picture

  • Gosling’s live performance of “I’m Just Ken” at the Oscars captivated the audience with a powerful and theatrical rendition.
  • The song offers a unique perspective from Ken’s point of view, adding depth to the character’s thoughts and experiences in the
  • The performance featured a guest appearance from Slash and Gosling got his director and co-stars to sing along for the epic climax.

The Oscars are full of Kenergy, as Ryan Gosling lit up the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles with a live rendition of his nominated song “I’m Just Ken” from 2023’s biggest movie, Barbie. Gosling electrified the audience with the most ludicrous and theatrical performance imaginable as his power ballad about what it means to be a man who plays second fiddle to a woman won the hearts and minds of everyone watching. The song is up for Best Original Song, with music and lyrics provided by Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt.

Gosling kicked off the performance wearing a black cowboy hat in the audience, sending Margot Robbie and Billie Eilish into a fit of laughter. Along with a jaw-dropping appearance from Slash, Gosling got Robbie and director Greta Gerwig, along with his fellow nominees America Ferrera and Emma Stone to join in on the song. He was also joined on stage by his fellow Kens, including Ncuti Gatwa and Simu Liu.

The song serves as a musical expression from Ken’s perspective, offering insight into his character’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences within the Barbie universe. It was a key breakout from the movie, which ended up earning over $1.4 billion globally. The film was up for a total of 9 Academy Awards this evening, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Gosling’s performance. The nomination marked Gosling’s third Oscar nod, having previously earned Best Actor nods for his roles in Half Nelson (2006) and La La Land ten years later.

Barbie is a vibrant and imaginative take on the iconic doll’s world. It delves into Barbie’s perfect, fantastical universe in Barbie Land, where she begins to face unexpected challenges that lead her to question her existence and the world around her. Through a journey filled with adventure, comedy, and self-discovery, Barbie and her friends explore themes of identity, freedom, and the essence of happiness. And then there’s Ken, who’s just Ken.

I’m Just Ken Almost Wasn’t in the Movie

Songwriter Mark Ronson told THR last year that Gosling almost didn’t even get the chance to sing, but that the musical side of the film kept expanding as the project grew, but that also meant they only had a few hours to record it ahead of time. He explained:

“It was never in the script [that] Ryan was going to sing. It was just like, ‘If we’re going to have Barbie’s perfect day song, we need a song from Ken’s point of view.’ It’s such a personal, weird thing, like meeting somebody for the first time and then recording a vocal. It’s all these emotional things. You want to put the person so at ease, but you’re also aware that the clock is ticking.”

Barbie is available to stream now on Max. You can check out Gosling’s performance below via Variety.

Barbie Film Poster


Barbie suffers a crisis that leads her to question her world and her existence.

Release Date July 21, 2023

Runtime 114 minutes

Watch on Max