“There’s obviously parts of [‘The Truman Show’] that are done on a stage, but then there are other parts of it that can’t possibly be on a stage because it’s too big, but it feels like it’s on a stage, you know? Why does it feel like it’s on a stage?” Gerwig continued. As Weir recounted to her, he and his crew used studio lights to make the film’s real-world locations appear artificially lit:
“He explained to me they did shoot a lot of it outside in this community in Florida, but that they hung big stage lighting everywhere so it would look lit even though it was outside. And then he said it made everything like 120 degrees and that he did not suggest that. He was like, ‘I wouldn’t do that. It works but you might want to avoid making a place that’s hot, hotter.'”
While Stereotypical Barbie is aware Barbieland exists separate from the real world, her journey in Gerwig’s film resembles that of Truman Burbank’s (Carrey) in “The Truman Show.” Both characters are content with their “perfect” worlds until the cracks begin to show, forcing them to question the nature of their existence and what they even want from their lives. The subsequent changes in their behavior also prove comedically unsettling for those around them; the other Barbies and Kens panic at the sight of Stereotypical Barbie’s flat feet, much like how the actors in “The Truman Show” don’t know how to respond when Truman abruptly deviates from his daily routine.
In the end, “Barbie” and “The Truman Show” about both about characters freeing themselves from their fear of reality and the messiness that comes with it. From that perspective, the latter might be the most important influence of all on Gerwig’s film.