Behind the Scenes of Ryan Gosling’s Show-Stopping “I’m Just Ken” Oscar Performance


When Ryan Gosling took to the stage for his Oscar performance of “I’m Just Ken,” he did more than just sing a song – he brought the house down with an impeccably prepared and vibrant homage to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. His seamless performance at the Oscars 2024 was anything but improvisational; it was, in fact, the culmination of months of detailed planning that included a 40-piece orchestra, 62 dancing counterparts, and an array of over 24 enormous Barbie heads as stage props.

Gosling expertly captured the spirit of an iconic number from classic Hollywood cinema, harking back to Marilyn Monroe’s legendary performance in “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” from the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. It was a meticulously orchestrated moment, meticulously put together by a team whose unfailing dedication was only matched by their star’s.

According to a Variety report, long before the public was made privy to Gosling’s Oscar act, the seeds were already being planted. Oscar producers Molly McNearney and Raj Kapoor, in earlier conversations with Gosling, recognized his absolute commitment to excellence. The event would not only involve A-list choreographers, like Mandy Moore, but also consultations with luminaries like Greta Gerwig who would all contribute to shaping a truly memorable performance.

Such attention to detail saw Gosling deeply involved in almost every facet of the routine. He precisely planned his movements, from a dramatic entry through the star-studded audience to a finale that literally struck a chord with the surprise entrance of rock legend Slash. This electrifying collaboration left attendees and viewers alike in raptures. But the performance’s dazzle didn’t end there; cameo appearances by actors Simu Liu and Kingsley Ben-Adir elevated the act to a whole new level, their appearances weaving in an additional layer of authenticity and star appeal.

The meticulous nature of this showcase necessitated weeks of rehearsals. Despite tight schedules and round-the-clock commitments, Gosling, alongside dancers and musicians, fine-tuned each step, each note, to make sure that what the audience would experience would appear to be the very essence of effortless.

Behind the scenes, music director Rickey Minor spearheaded his orchestra to achieve the day’s perfect harmonic blend; meanwhile, Gosling himself rehearsed down to the minor details, being thoughtful enough to even secure the cameraman’s ‘go-ahead’ before kissing his hand as a spectacular and respectful flourish during the actual performance.

This wasn’t just entertainment; it was a labor of love that, when the curtains closed, left Gosling in a moment of relieved satisfaction. Choreographer Moore reminisced about how the star enveloped her in a tight hug, silently inquiring if he had performed well. The answer, evidently, was a resounding yes.

The success of the night was undoubted. Gosling’s “I’m Just Ken” didn’t just steal the show – it took over conversations, impressed critics, and won the hearts of the audience across the globe. Although the coveted prize for Best Original Song went to Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell for “What Am I Made For?”, it did little to dampen the fact that Gosling’s “I’m Just Ken” emerged as the night’s undoubted favorite, a true champion in the eyes of Oscar viewers and a performance that left an indelible mark on Hollywood’s biggest night.

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