‘Barbie’ production emptied a company’s worldwide supply of pink paint

Margot Robbie as Barbie
Margot Robbie as Barbie on the very pink set of “Barbie.”
(Warner Bros. Pictures)

If you’re going to make a Barbie movie, make it pink — very pink — so pink that it will wipe out an entire company’s global supply of pink paint.

That’s exactly what happened during production of the new Warner Bros. “Barbie” film, according to the company that supplied set designers.

“They used as much paint as we had,” Lauren Proud — vice president of global marketing at Rosco, which is known for its deep ties with Hollywood’s film and television industries — said Friday in an interview with The Times.


She was referring specifically to its supply of fluorescent pink paint, which was used for creating the sets for the film’s Barbieland.

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The film’s production designer, Sarah Greenwood, spoke to Architectural Digest earlier this week about the immense amounts of pink that were required for the set. During the interview Greenwood, a six-time Oscar nominee, claimed the film had caused an international shortage.

“The world ran out of pink,” she told the magazine.

However, Proud said it’s not that simple. During “Barbie’s” production in 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic was jamming the global supply chain on a host of products and goods, including Rosco’s paint.

The company was also still recovering from the deep freeze that blanketed Texas in early 2021 and damaged vital materials used to create the paint. In short, Rosco was already operating with less paint than it was used to.

“There was this shortage,” Proud said, “and then we gave them everything we could — I don’t know they can claim credit.”

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Proud acknowledged, though, that, “They did clean us out on paint.”

Even so, there was just enough to continue production on the film, which was mostly shot at at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden in the United Kingdom.


In the Architectural Digest interview, “Barbie” director Greta Gerwig said the pink paint was important in “maintaining the ‘kid-ness’” of the film’s aesthetic.

“I wanted the pinks to be very bright, and everything to be almost too much,” Gerwig said, emphasizing that she didn’t want to “forget what made me love Barbie when I was a little girl.”

Greenwood obliged, as evidenced in images seen in the film’s first full-length trailer, which reveal dollhouse-like mansions adorned with beds, a closet full of clothing accessories, stylish couches, dining tables, and a slide, all colored pink.

The cars that characters drive, the roads and the lamp posts that illuminate the way — all pink. The floors they dance on are, you guessed it, pink.

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Although the film’s plot had been somewhat mysterious in the months leading up to its July 21 release, a recent trailer shows Margot Robbie’s Barbie and Ryan Gosling’s Ken on an adventure out of Barbieland and into “the real world.”

The trailer shows Will Ferrell as what appears to be the head of Mattel and the film’s principal villain. “Barbie” commands a star-studded cast that also includes Simu Liu, Dua Lipa, Helen Mirren, Issa Rae, America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Michael Cera, Ariana Greenblatt, Rhea Perlman, Ana Cruz Kayne, Emma Mackey, Hari Nef, Alexandra Shipp, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ncuti Gatwa, Scott Evans, Jamie Demetriou, Connor Swindells, Sharon Rooney, Nicola Coughlan and Ritu Arya.