Liu, 34, took to Instagram on Wednesday, July 26, after a resurfaced video of him and Gosling, 42, at a Barbie press event in Toronto last month went viral, prompting fans to question whether the two actors had butted heads. In the clip, Liu can be seen placing his arm behind Gosling’s back while posing for cameras before Gosling seemingly asks him not to. (Their conversation is indiscernible in the video.)
The interaction raised eyebrows following Barbie’s theatrical release, but Liu insisted all was well between the two Kens. “I’d beach off with the Kenadian again in a heartbeat,” he wrote via his Instagram Story on Wednesday.
Liu went on to call Gosling “the best human in every way, especially when he jokes around with us on the carpet and on set, infecting all of us with his kenergy.” He concluded his post by asking fans to “get back to the issues that matter, like supporting out striking actors and writers fighting for fair wages!”
Fans were quick to weigh in on the awkward moment online before Liu cleared the air, with one fan writing via Twitter — which has since rebranded as X — “Oh I’d literally never show my face again.” Another user wrote, “This is so humiliating it made my stomach hurt.”
Others, however, pointed out that the stars’ behavior reflected the relationship between their two versions of Ken in the Barbie movie, as their respective characters are rivals throughout the majority of the film.
“If you know anything about Ryan Gosling, he sells whatever character he’s playing until that s—t leaves the theatre,” another fan tweeted. “He’s reminding Simu Liu to stay in character. It adds to the appeal of their storyline and press. Brilliant on his part.”
At the Toronto event, which took place on June 28, Gosling gushed about Liu in an interview with Canada’s Etalk. “Simu can do anything,” he stated after praising Liu’s ability to dance and do flips. “I have nothing but admiration for Simu, and you know, his Kenergy is so strong. I admire his Kenergy.”
Liu, meanwhile, played up the duo’s Barbie rivalry while chatting with the outlet. “I know it’s not polite for two Canadians to have that kind of relationship,” he joked on the red carpet. “Sometimes our Kens just get under each other’s skin, but it’s [a] really delicious relationship to get to play on screen.”
Greta Gerwig’s Barbie — which stars Margot Robbie as the titular doll — was released on Friday, July 21, and dominated the box office. The film earned a total of $162 million, beating out Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, which scored $82.4 million after its opening weekend. Barbie and Gerwig, 39, made history as they scored the biggest opening debut ever for a female-directed film.