‘Barbie’ movie’s pink paint splurge led to global shortage, production designer says
Creating the perfect backdrop for the upcoming “Barbie” movie required so much pink paint that it led to a global shortage, according to its production designer.
“The world ran out of pink,” said Sarah Greenwood in a recent interview with Architectural Digest.
Greenwood, who has been nominated for six Academy Awards, including for the art direction of “Pride & Prejudice” and “Atonement,” said constructing the set involved huge amounts of Rosco’s fluorescent pink paint.
Warner Bros.’ live-action movie, which hits theaters on July 21, stars Margot Robbie in the titular role and a blond Ryan Gosling as her plastic boyfriend, Ken. (Warner Bros., like CNN, is a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery.)
Greta Gerwig, who directed and co-wrote the script with Noah Baumbach, told the magazine the color was all-important to the movie.
“Maintaining the ‘kid-ness’ was paramount,” she said. “I wanted the pinks to be very bright, and everything to be almost too much.”
This was part of what Gerwig described as “literally creating the alternate universe of Barbie Land.”
While Gerwig said she loved Barbie as a child, neither Greenwood nor set decorator Katie Spencer had ever owned one of Mattel’s iconic dolls. So the London-based team ordered a Barbie “Dreamhouse” online to spark their imaginations.
They took further inspiration from Palm Springs mid-century modernism. “Everything about that era was spot-on,” said Greenwood, adding that she strove “to make Barbie real through this unreal world.”
In an email to CNN, Lauren Proud, vice president of marketing and digital experience for paint company Rosco, confirmed that the production used a lot of the color but added that there were other factors involved in the squeeze on pink paint.
“The sets were being developed during a time when we were still experiencing the global supply chain issues, and the paint supply was hit particularly hard,” she said. “We delivered everything we could, they got it all. We can’t wait to see how it looks in the film!”