Barbie (Margot Robbie) dances with other Barbies during a vibrant dance party in 'Barbie'

This Oscar Winner Provides the Narration in ‘Barbie’

We’re nearing the end of 2023, and everyone is still talking about Barbie. Greta Gerwig’s feminist masterpiece dominated the culture this year, thanks to its brilliant writing, hilarious performances, and stunning production and costume design. But more than that, the film struck an emotional chord with women audiences across the globe, who all found something to relate to in Barbie’s struggle to self-actualize.

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Barbie featured an all-star cast including Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera, Will Ferrell, Simu Liu, Michael Cera, and many more familiar faces. But one important role was the film’s narrator, who takes us through the Kubrickian 2001: A Space Odyssey-inspired opening. This omniscient narrator guides us through Barbie’s journey with humor and authority. But who is the actor behind the voice?

Meet Barbie’s Narrator

The film is narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Dame Helen Mirren (The Queen, Prime Suspect). Mirren met Gerwig in 2011’s remake of Arthur, which starred Russell Brand in the titular role. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Mirren said that the two hit it off and that she “was fairly thrilled” when Gerwig asked her to voice the narrator. “I thought it was an incredibly funny, fun thing to be involved in,” said Mirren, adding “We formed a good bond together … She’s an amazing visionary and an extraordinary talent.”

Actress Helen Mirren attends the screening of 'Girls Of The Sun (Les Filles Du Soleil)' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 12, 2018 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
(Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

While Mirren doesn’t appear onscreen, she filmed a scene for the movie that ended up on the cutting room floor. In a featurette titled “All-Star Barbie Party” on the Blu-ray, Mirren appears on camera in an interview saying, “Rather like David Attenborough doing a narration on a nature film, I’m the wise and knowledgeable and objective voice telling the story of Barbie.” There was also a scene of Mirren on set, with her back to the camera, flipping the bird.

Additionally, Mirren was supposed to appear in an end credits scene where Midge (Emerald Fennell) gives birth, but the scene was ultimately cut.

(featured image: Warner Bros. Pictures)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.