Ryan Gosling as Ken is a blonde white man in sunglasses and a white furry coat in 'Barbie.'

Ryan Gosling Has Revealed the True Definition of ‘Kenergy’

When Ryan Gosling gave us Kenergy, he changed the world. And now he’s probably begging us all to stop asking about it, but he’s now given us the perfect definition of what Kenergy is and how it works, so at least we have that.

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Gosling was honoring Mark Ronson with the Soundtrack of the Year award at the Variety Hitmakers event and did a speech talking about working with Ronson for Barbie and his role as Ken in the film. Part of that speech included an exploration of Kenergy. “How can we know a man who refuses to be known? How do you define that which defies definition? Maybe it can only be done with a word that’s just as hard to pin down. A word like Kenergy?” Gosling said.

“What is Kenergy, other than a word I made up on a press junket so I didn’t have to answer questions that’ll haunt me for the rest of my life? Well, it’s a noun. I’ve come to understand it as the strength and vitality required to sustain a period of Kenning. What is Kenning you ask? You didn’t ask? Well, it’s a verb. To Ken. To Ken is to give more than is necessary or required, to reflect so that others might shine.”

He went on to talk about the experience of playing Ken and how no one really cared about the character until … well, Barbie came out. “I can tell you from firsthand experience that until 6 months ago, the world gave zero fucks about Ken,” Gosling said. “He was just this 70-year-old crotchless doll with no house, no car, no job, no voice, and look at him now. He has a Grammy-nominated power ballad and the voice of an angel.”

The Kenergy is strong with this one

There has been something unlocked in Gosling since playing Ken. He has always had an energy that works in comedies, highlighted by movies like The Nice Guys and even stretching as far back as his career in Remember the Titans and The Mickey Mouse Club. It has always been a part of who Gosling is as an actor, even if his more serious roles in things like Drive and his song and dance persona in La La Land have taken precedence over his more comedic work.

That is until Ken. Now, he has been unleashed, and seeing his performance has reminded audiences how funny Gosling can be. This speech is reminding us all that he’s just genuinely a very funny person, too. As if we needed a further explanation of what Kenergy is, this truly confirms that Kenning is necessary to understand the Kenergy you must acquire to be the full Ken you can be. He’s just Ken, and anywhere else he’d be a ten, but we’d have him no other way, and I am truly going to be sad when Gosling no longer has to talk about Barbie because this has been a dream.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her current obsession is Glen Powell's dog, Brisket. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.