Trans icon Hari Nef steals focus in first official clip from Barbie: ‘Jennifer Coolidge-esque’

Hari Nef

The first clip from Greta Gerwig’s Barbie has been released, with trans star Hari Nef well and truly stealing the spotlight.

Over the past few weeks, the promotional rollout for the much-anticipated film, starring Margot Robbie as the titular doll and Ryan Gosling as her counterpart Ken, has been nothing short of ingenious.

We’ve had hilarious character posters accompanied by trailers that have sent fans into a frenzy. We’ve had teases and releases from a soundtrack studded with stars and we’ve been drip-fed details about the film’s closely guarded plot. It’s sure to be a camp masterpiece.

And now, we’ve once again been blessed by the Barbieland powers, in the form of the first extended clip of the film, which is set to be released in cinemas on 21 July.

In a clip shared via the Discussing Film Twitter account, Gosling’s Ken appears to have hurt himself after a surfing incident. Reclining on a pink hospital bed, his fears are allayed by doctor Barbie – played by Nef – who tells him nothing is broken, and he’ll be “fine”.

A visibly relieved Ken then proclaims that “shredding waves is much more dangerous than people realise”. The empty-headed himbo is also being tended to by Robbie’s Barbie.

You may like to watch

Naturally, Ken loves the attention, and takes the opportunity to milk even more sympathy from the assembled onlookers, including author Barbie Alexandra Shipp.

“You know surfing isn’t even my job, and it is not lifeguard, which is a common misconception,” he continues. “Because actually, my job, it’s just ‘beach’.”

Upon Ken revealing his frustration that no one understands how difficult this job is, Nef’s effortlessly cool Barbie reassures him that he does “a good job”.

It’s Nef’s comeback that has dominated reactions to the clip, with one fan writing: “Hari Nef, I see you as a mother figure.”

Another fan noted that “Hari’s Jennifer Coolidge-esque delivery” is a “serve in this clip,” among countless other pieces of praise for the trans icon.

Canada’s Drag Race‘s Eve 6000 echoed that thought, tweeting: “I’m living for Hari Nef sounding exactly like Jennifer Coolidge here.”

Aside from the outpouring of love for Nef, there’s also been a huge amount of praise for Gosling’s portrayal of the infatuated Ken – and his desperate need for approval.

“You’re very brave,” Robbie’s Barbie tells Ken, to which he replies: “Thank you, Barbie,” much in the same way that one would react to winning the lottery.

Demonstrating impeccable comic timing, Ken also asks: “Hey, Barbie. Can I come to your house tonight?” with double-crossed fingers and an almost pained expression.

One fan wrote: “Ryan Gosling is the greatest actor of all time, this is literally the funniest thing I’ve seen this year purely because of his mannerisms, an S-tier comedic actor.”

Another wrote: “This was the role Ryan Gosling was born to play,” while a third added: “Ryan Gosling’s mannerisms are insane, I’m cracking up right now.”

Barbie is bursting at the synthetic seams with queer talent and fan favourites. Aside from Nef’s and Shipp’s Barbie, Issa Rae, Scott Evans and Ncuti Gatwa will all make appearances – and, on a separate note, fans are convinced that Robbie’s character is of the sapphic persuasion.

While its plot is relatively unknown, Gerwig has previously hinted that the caper is inspired by “technicolour musicals” such as The Wizard of Oz, and a brief summary reads: “After being expelled from Barbieland for being a less-than-perfect doll, Barbie sets off for the human world to find true happiness.”

Nef is set to follow her appearance in The Idol by starring as trans trailblazer and Andy Warhol-superstar Candy Darling in a yet-to-be-titled biopic.

Barbie is due to be released in the UK on 21 July. Barbie the Album is released on the same day.