One of the things that’s immediately eye-catching about Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Barbie—the Little Women director’s attempt to say something cinematically satirical and funny about the inner life of the iconic doll—is that so much of what Gerwig and her team have created for the film’s world has been done with practical effects: real structures, real plastic fake worlds, real painted backdrops instead of CGI. The other eye-catching thing is, of course, that it is all, excessively, pink—to the point that the production apparently used up a decent chunk of the planet’s supply of pink paint to create Barbie Land.
This is per a piece in Architectural Digest this week, which took a deep dive into how production designer Sarah Greenwood and set decorator Kate Spencer went about re-creating Barbie’s famed Dreamhouse for the film. Which was a building so monumentally pink that, Greenwood reveals, it caused an international shortage of that particular brand of pink paint. “The world ran out of pink,” she told AD with a laugh.
Also, the house sounds like it would have been a real head-trip—and possible head injury—to walk around in, because all involved very deliberately tried to recreate the off-kilter proportions of the original toys, building a house that was 23 percent smaller than normal human proportions. “The ceiling is actually quite close to one’s head,” Gerwig noted, “And it only takes a few paces to cross the room. It has the odd effect of making the actors seem big in the space but small overall.”
Luckily for anybody who needs pink paint now, Barbie is now complete, releasing its brutal stranglehold on the fuchsia pigment market at long last. The film opens in theaters on July 21.