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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Barbie’s Body Double: A Journey into the Bizarre World

When Emma Eastwood found out she had been cast as the body double for Barbie, she had just changed out of the tight pink jumpsuit she had been wearing at the Warner Brothers studio in London.

Just a few hours after her audition, one of the casting directors for Greta Gerwig’s forthcoming movie sent her the good news. She stated she didn’t anticipate much since they had twice withdrawn their promise to cast her as an extra. “I was fully convinced that I kept jinxing myself,” Ms. Eastwood said.

The 26-year-old actress had previously only appeared in commercials, music videos, and short films during her time in San Francisco and London. Her debut as a body duplicate was in the film “Barbie.”

Her first day on set put her mind at ease. She got up before dawn and caught a minibus to the studio at six o’clock.

When an actor is unable or unwilling to shoot a particular scene, a body duplicate is brought in to take their place. The production crew may save time and money by using stand-ins in such situations. A casting director who did not participate in the making of “Barbie” commented, “They’re not going to have Margot Robbie sit on a set while they’re doing lighting tests.” They’re going to find someone with a similar build and complexion.

Despite being recruited to only double for Ms. Robbie’s hands in the film, Ms. Eastwood soon found herself in situations where her whole body—including her face—was front and centre. She complained that she had been left in the dark about the nature of their work together. Once or twice they told me the whole cast would be there and it would be a big day, but they never told me what we would be doing until I got to the set.

Ms. Eastwood’s primary objective was to get friendly with Ms. Robbie in the hopes of landing a role as a body double for her in a future film. However, they seldom crossed paths with one another. Ms. Robbie often recorded her sequences on a different stage while Ms. Eastwood filmed on the main stage.

Ms. Eastwood was sure of her abilities; she said that even Margot Robbie was sometimes confused for her on filming. Ms. Robbie said that, while seeing the tape again, she had moments of self-awareness.

Even though they couldn’t coordinate their schedules, their measurements were accurate. Every outfit worn by Ms. Eastwood was also owned by Ms. Robbie. She said, “They didn’t tailor anything to me.”

Ms. Eastwood would spend approximately an hour every morning getting ready for shooting. The makeup artist gave her a bronzed complexion to make her seem more like Barbie. However, the leader of the cosmetics crew would often approach the artist handling Ms. Eastwood’s body paint to tell her the hue wasn’t black enough, even after numerous coats were done.

She waited to change into the costumes until the last possible minute to prevent any stains. From then on, Ms. Eastwood often lacked foresight. She was willing to do everything the director requested since she had no idea what was going on.

Ms Eastwood did numerous takes of a scenario when she walks up a flight of stairs while pretending her feet ache for the trailer. She was thrilled to see it in the trailer when it came out.

Ms. Eastwood spent an hour lying facedown on the ground for another scenario. Her face was covered with makeup because she kept one side of it on the floor.

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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