Barbie | Michael Cera fight scene originally written for Ben Affleck

Barbie Alan Michael Cera Ben Affleck
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Ben Affleck was supposed to appear in Barbie, Michael Cera has revealed. Scheduling conflicts meant Cera had to do Affleck’s fight scene instead.

Even on slick, multi-million dollar film productions, last minute changes can happen and sudden decisions have to be made.

Such was the case on last year’s box office juggernaut, Barbie, according to a new anecdote from Michael Cera, who stars in the film as the likeably awkward Alan.

One of Cera’s most memorable scenes in Barbie involves a fight with a bunch of construction worker Kens, in which Alan displays a surprising knack for martial arts.

Talking on the HappySadConfused podcast, however, Cera reveals that the scene wasn’t initially written for him, but rather Ben Affleck in a surprise cameo.

Read more: Barbie review | Crikey, they pulled it off

“I wasn’t even supposed to fight in the movie,” Cera said, as picked up by Deadline. “Am I allowed to say what was supposed to be? It was supposed to be Ben Affleck. Am I allowed to say that?”

Cera then added that Affleck was forced to drop out of Barbie because he was still shooting his genesis-of-a-running-shoe product biopic, Air. As a result, the scene had to be hastily rewritten, and the fight intended for Affleck went to Cera instead.

The only minor problem was that Cera was still recovering from a bout of Covid, and was therefore physically unprepared for a scene that required a lot of fisticuffs.

“I had to jump in with the stunt team. I had just gotten over Covid and they had me training and I almost died just doing a warm-up. I had to lie down in the trailer and they sent a nurse to see me.”

With Barbie raking in almost $1.5bn at the global box office and eight Oscar nominations, it’s fair to say that everything worked out alright in the end.

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