Where Was Barbie Filmed?

Image Credit: Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros. Pictures

Welcome to the utopian and fantastical world of Barbieland where everyone is expected to be perfect, or else they are expelled from the perfect place, just like Barbie. In the Greta Gerwig directorial, ‘Barbie,’ the titular character is made to leave Barbieland due to her so-called imperfections but is accompanied by Ken. The pair then embarks on an adventurous journey of self-discovery to the real world, only to realize that perfection is something that can only be found within.

Based on the eponymous fashion dolls by Mattel, the fantasy comedy movie features a star-studded ensemble cast comprising Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman, and Will Ferrell. Given the vibrant shades of pink in the foreground (in the characters’ costumes) as well as the backdrop of almost the entire movie, it naturally gives off a feel-good vibe to the viewers. Moreover, the fantastical world of Barbie Land makes one wonder where exactly did the shooting of ‘Barbie’ take place.

Barbie Filming Locations

‘Barbie’ was filmed in England and California, specifically in Watford and Los Angeles. According to reports, principal photography for the Ryan Gosling-starrer commenced in March 2022 and wrapped up in July of the same year. Moreover, the filming unit returned to work and did some reshoots for the movie in April 2023, just a few months before its premiere. Now, without further ado, let’s find out which specific locations doubled as Barbie Land for the fantasy movie!

Watford, England

A significant chunk of ‘Barbie’ was lensed in the town of Watford, in England’s Hertfordshire. In particular, the production team primarily set up camp in Warner Bros. Studios on Warner Drive in the residential and commercial area of Leavesden in northern Watford. With the help of several amenities and resources of the studio as well as CGI, the production crew managed to create Barbieland from scratch and bring it to life.

Formerly known as Leavesden Film Studios, Warner Bros. Studios is a film studio complex that consists of 19 different sound stages ranging from 10,800 square feet to 48,800 square feet, an exterior tank on the backlot, and plenty of terrains in the 55-acre-backlot. All these amenities make Warner Bros. Studios a suitable filming site for different productions, especially a visually extravagant movie like ‘Barbie.’

Director Greta Gerwig reportedly got inspired by the iconic houses, mainly the famous Kaufmann house, in Palm Springs, California. Built by architect Richard Neutra in 1946, the house became the reference point for the look as well as the design of the houses in Barbie Land. Moreover, a limited amount of scenes for ‘Barbie’ was seemingly recorded in the surrounding areas of Watford, such as London.

Los Angeles, California

The filming unit of ‘Barbie’ also took their production to the city of Los Angeles, especially to tape the scenes portraying the world outside of Barbie Land in the movie. Venice, a popular neighborhood of the City of Angels, served as one of the primary production locations for the movie. Specifically, the cast and crew of the film were spotted shooting important skating scenes between Barbie and Ken at Venice Beach Recreational Center at 1800 Ocean Front Walk in LA.

During a conversation with MovieWeb in early July 2023, Greta Gerwig shared a weird anecdote from the set during their production process. She revealed, “People would go by Ryan, high-five him, and say, ‘Awesome, Ryan, you look great!’ And they wouldn’t actually say anything to Margot…They’d just look at her.”

“It was just surreal. In that moment, she did feel self-conscious. And as the director, I wanted to protect her. But I also knew that the scene we were shooting had to be the scene where she felt exposed. And she was exposed, both as a celebrity and as a lady,” Gerwig further expanded. Los Angeles is a city that goes hand in hand with Hollywood, which is why it has hosted the production of many movies over the years, apart from ‘Barbie.’ Some notable ones include ‘Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles,’ ‘L.A. Story,’ ‘Never Goin’ Back,’ and ‘Son of the Beach.’

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