IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

‘Barbie’ production designer says film’s use of fluorescent pink caused a shortage: ‘World ran out of pink’

Director Greta Gerwig told Architectural Digest in an interview that she wanted the pinks to be “very bright, and everything to be almost too much.
Get more newsLiveonNBC News Now
/ Source: TODAY

When you think of Barbie, one color typically comes to mind: pink.

For the set of the upcoming “Barbie” movie, which is slated to be released in July, the production team couldn’t get enough of the color and even caused a worldwide shortage, says production designer Sarah Greenwood.

There was so much of the color used in set construction that it led to an international shortage of the fluorescent shade made by paint company Rosco, Greenwood told the publication.

“The world ran out of pink,” she said.

Director Greta Gerwig told Architectural Digest in an interview that she wanted the pinks to be “very bright, and everything to be almost too much,” adding that she didn’t want to “forget what made me love Barbie when I was a little girl.”

Rosco’s Vice President of Global Marketing Lauren Proud told the Los Angeles Times that the “Barbie” team “used as much paint as we had.”

There were extenuating factors in the pink paint shortage, Proud noted. The company was also already experiencing a shortage after a deep freeze in Texas in 2021 damaged paint materials, Proud said. Then in 2022, when the film was in mid-production, the covid pandemic backed up the global supply chain on many products, including paint.

Finding the specific shade for the film was an involved process. Speaking to IndieWire in December, Greenwood explained that the color pink was going to be front and center of the film’s design.

“Pink became the film’s thesis,” she said, adding that they had to consider all the different shades of pink.

“It was epic dealing with the painters, mixing the right colors,” Greenwood said. “When we got to our palette we had over a hundred pinks, ranging from the purpley pinks right through to the fleshy millennial pinks. We hit the sweet spot in the middle, which is about 10 pinks.”

Painting with pink was a “constant fight” for the design team, Greenwood said. Once they had a color scheme established, any environment surrounding the color could cause the hue to change.

“You put it next to furniture or a fabric and it just flattens out,” she said.

“Barbie” fans got a closer look at the upcoming movie when the latest trailer dropped on May 25, giving a deeper dive into the film’s plot.

After seeming to have the ideal doll life, Barbie, played by Margot Robbie, starts to have an existential crisis, asking questions like “Do you guys ever think about dying?” while on the dance floor with other dolls.

In another moment, Barbie expresses concern to her fellow Barbie friends, showing that her iconic arched feet have suddenly fallen flat.

She then chooses to leave her world for the “real” world, with Ryan Gosling’s Ken in tow.

“Barbie” is set to hit theaters July 21.