Brampton’s Michael Cera brings the little-known but well-loved ‘Allan’ to life in Barbie Movie


Published July 19, 2023 at 9:23 am

There might be many Kens, but there’s only one Allan.

That’s the tagline for a little-known but well-loved character in the Barbie universe who is getting a chance to shine in the spotlight thanks to Brampton’s Michael Cera.

The Barbie Movie opens this Friday (July 21) with an all-star cast including Canadian Ryan Gosling and Mississauga’s Simu Liu as duelling versions of Ken, fighting over who will be the title character’s main squeeze.

But there’s another familiar Canuck rounding out the cast who has taken on the role of a much less high-profile but still very sought-after plastic person – Ken’s best friend, Allan.

Introduced in 1964 as “Ken’s buddy” by toymaker Mattel, Allan was part of an expansion of the Barbie product line, which also included the addition of Barbie’s sister Skipper and best friend Midge.

The red-haired Allan could also fit into Ken’s clothes, but the initial run of red-haired Allan dolls and Midge were short-lived, being discontinued the following year.

Allan has returned in various forms over the years, and Cera is set to take the character out of obscurity and onto the big screen.

Known for his roles in “Superbad” and “Arrested Development,” Cera plays Allan in the film which hits theatres on Friday and told The Guardian he was “desperate to be a part of it.”

Allan has developed a bit of a cult following with various versions of the dolls listed for nearly $800 CAD on eBay. Cera even bought his own vintage Allan doll on eBay and kept it in the hair and make-up room “a sort of mascot” for himself on set.

Cera only appears in one scene during the trailer as Liu and Gosling have a “beach off,” so moviegoers will have to wait to see how big a role Allan will play in the film.

The original Allan was replaced with a new character named Brad, but both Allan and Midge would later return with the two side characters even getting married in Barbie lore.

The film follows Margot Robbie’s version of Barbie – one of many in this Barbie multiverse – as she leaves her plastic dream house and heads to our world with Gosling and Liu playing clashing Kens.

Barbie Sim Liu Mississauga

Mississauga’s Simu Liu (left) will square off with London’s Ryan Gosling (right) in the Barbie Movie starring Margot Robbie (centre)

Cera shares the screen with both fellow Canadians in the film, and the cast also includes A-listers like Will Farrell and Helen Mirren alongside pop singer Dua Lipa as mermaid Barbie, Issa Rae as president Barbie and Kate McKinnon as rock star Barbie.

The movie made headlines last summer over its hefty $100 million US budget, with its decadent set reportedly contributing to a global shortage of pink paint, and a massive marketing push.

The Barbie Movie opens in theatres on July 21.

With files from The Canadian Press

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