There are a ton of possible conclusions from the Barbie movie, but an unexpected result of seeing the movie is having Matchbox Twenty’s “Push” stuck in your head.
Lead singer rob thomas opened about the director Greta Gerwig contact your team for permission to Ryan Gosling (Ken) to record the 1996 song for the margot robbie-directed film.
“I want to start by saying that I thought it was hilarious. But in May come, (Kirsten Dunstcharacter of) has a douchebag boyfriend. And there’s a scene where he’s in his dorm room with a Matchbox Twenty poster in the background. There was a whole period during the ’90s where the more successful we were, the bigger the target we were. We were an easy fall,” said Thomas usa today after Barbie was released on Friday, July 21st. “When I got the call from Barbie, they told me, ‘Ken is by the fireplace, he’s playing the song and it’s his favorite band.’”
Though Thomas thought Matchbox Twenty would be “the butt of the joke” – something he was “fine” with as he’s “very tough” – he was pleasantly surprised when he heard more about the scene, which includes Gosling and the other Kens passionately singing “Push” on the beach to the Barbies.
“But Julie Greenwald [from Atlantic Records] came to the Hollywood Bowl a month or two ago. She had just seen the movie and said, ‘You come out of this loving Ken and loving ‘Push.” And I was like, ‘Aww. Alright, really good!’” she recalled.
Thomas went on to call Gerwig “one of my forever crushes”.
“To the point where I was on a plane once and I was like, ‘Baby, Greta Gerwig just got on the plane, oh my God.’ So just the fact that it hasn’t dampened my passion for Greta is even better,” he said.
During an appearance on the “ReelBlend” podcast, Gerwig confirmed that Matchbox Twenty was aware of the music used in the film.
“I hope it reinvigorates the song,” she said. While the filmmaker said it made her “laugh so hard thinking” of the Kens singing the song on the beach, Gerwig revealed that several cast members were unaware that “Push” wasn’t written specifically for Barbie.
“A lot of the cast is younger and also that song didn’t chart in the UK the way it did in the US. So actually, a lot of the cast thought we invented the song,” she said. “And I was like, ‘Oh no, this is a legitimate pop hit.’”
Issa Raewho plays President Barbie, later admitted weekly entertainment that she was one of the stars who didn’t know music. “I thought [Greta] composed the music for that scene. … I was like, ‘Is this a real song?!’” she said during a roundtable discussion with the cast. “I escaped it [at the time], I think. But I like!”
During the EW interview, Gerwig explained that although she thought the Kens would relate to Matchbox Twenty – while Barbie is an Indigo Girls fan – she was even surprised to hear the lyrics again.
“I wanna push you / Well I will, well I will,” Thomas sings in the chorus. “I wanna push you down / Well I will, well I will / I wanna take you for granted.”
Thomas, meanwhile, shared more information about the song during his interview with USA Today, telling the paper that he wrote the track about an ex in one night.
“What’s funny is that I wrote that song about someone I was with who was manipulating me and taking advantage of me. The ’90s were a time of manufactured angst and nobody wanted to fall victim to a song. So, in a strange twist of different eras, there’s something very problematic about ‘Push’ if it weren’t for the innocence of how it was written. But everything about it was about emotional manipulation. It was just about this idea that it’s a lot easier to find someone that you can take advantage of than it is to actually put work into a relationship,” he said. “But at the time I was in my early 20s. I didn’t even know what I was writing about. It takes being in your 50s now and being married for 24 years to look back and say, ‘Oh man, I was going through some [stuff].’ Therapy didn’t seem like an option in the ’90s, so I was just recording my feelings and sharing them with the world.”
Despite the controversial lyrics, Thomas said that “there wasn’t as much outrage” at the time, adding that the band “came from the George Michael and David Bowie world of ‘let’s make somebody talk about something'”.
“We also lived in a different climate,” he said. “A song like that without an asterisk next to it is more problematic now because we’re all so much more aware of things. But at the time, 90s music was quite problematic. And in a way, [the song] it was very tame alongside a bunch of other stuff. Also, look at me – I won’t push anyone.
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Barbie, which grossed over $162 million in its opening weekend, is in theaters now. The soundtrack – including Gosling’s cover of “Push” and original song “I’m Just Ken” – is available to stream.