It Turns Out Barbie's 'Sugar Daddy Ken' Got Cast After Doing Something Sweet For Margot Robbie Years Prior

 Rob Brydon as Sugar Daddy Ken in Barbie.
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The cast of Barbie featured so many talented stars like Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera and Kate McKinnon. One of those gifted actors you may have recognized, especially if you’re a big fan of British comedies, is Rob Brydon who played the role of Sugar Daddy Ken. It was a great cameo and one that some viewers may not have seen coming. What may be even more surprising, though, is that the Welsh actor shared a connection with Robbie before being cast in the film. That's because, years ago, he did something very sweet for her.

Rob Brydon’s cameo role as Sugar Daddy Ken was small yet memorable. His variation of the iconic doll was noted as one of the discontinued Kens, and he proudly owned a plastic dog named Sugar… and he’s the daddy. You get the gist. But long before getting to take on the role of the Barbieland resident, Brydon performed a sweet act. He explained to The Times that he was asked to provide a favor for the woman who would eventually become Barbie's star and co-producer:

Years ago, Margot’s friend asked me to record a birthday message for her as Uncle Bryn [his character in Gavin and Stacey]. I bumped into Margot when I went for a Barbie wardrobe fitting. She said, ‘You don’t remember doing that message, do you?’ I said, ‘No, to be honest, I forgot.'

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Barbie smiling while wearing a cowgirl hat in Barbie.
Barbie smiling while wearing a cowgirl hat in Barbie.

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It really must have been so long ago that the Trip actor didn’t remember leaving a message for Margot Robbie's birthday. But, it’s sweet that the I, Tonya actress didn’t forget the kind gesture. For those who need some context, Gavin and Stacey is one of the U.K.’s most rewatched TV shows. It's about two young lovers who come together after having a long-distance relationship for months only to deal with the hilarious interactions involving their families and friends. As mentioned, the Holmes & Watson alum plays Stacey’s eccentric Uncle Bryn. While the series ended in 2010 with a Christmas special close to a decade later, star James Corden said to expect the final episode to air on BBC One this Christmas.

Unfortunately, Rob Brydon's casting in Barbie didn’t hit well with audiences. Brydon recalled his feelings being hurt when fans would ask why he was cast in a big Hollywood movie since his works tend to be UK-based. Plus, only one out of two of his scenes made it into the movie which was then edited. But Greta Gerwig cast the talented actor in her movie after loving Brydon’s multiple roles in the British black comedy series Human Remains. Given that Gerwig was a fan as well as Margot Robbie, I’d like to believe that they -- as well as others -- were very welcoming towards him on the set.

The BAFTA Award nominee made sure to mention to The Times that even though he didn’t know it at the time of filming, he now considers Greta Gerwig's acclaimed flick to be a very important movie. I’d have to agree, as the fantasy-comedy movie provided audiences with social commentary, especially when it came to gender roles. As part of Barbenheimer, Barbie made a billion dollars and was nominated for eight Academy Awards. And, given the success of the Mattel Inc. film, more toy-adapted movies will be coming to the big screen soon like Thomas & Friends, American Girl, Polly Pocket and more.

As a cast member of Barbie, Rob Brydon can proudly say that he's a part of cinematic history. And, to think, he can partially attribute that to a wonderful gesture he performed for Margot Robbie. That's a true testament to the power of kindness. You can find see Sugar Daddy Ken and other Barbieland residents by streaming the Robbie-led fantasy/comedy with a Max subscription. Also, keep your eyes on the 2024 movie schedule for updates on other big releases.