Featured

Barbie and Beyond: Ariana Greenblatt Is Just Getting Started

todayJune 18, 2024 13

Background
share close

qxgdshpcWMF8nYVE6rNZjN 1200 80

Ariana Greenblatt sitting on a floatie wearing white top, shorts, and clear heels.

(Image credit: Leeor Wild; Styling: JW Anderson top and shorts; Tory Burch sunglasses; Bondeye earrings; Paris Texas shoes)

When people took to the theaters last summer in their pinkest ensembles, it was a bubbly and blonde Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling they were expecting. But when Sasha, portrayed by Ariana Greenblatt, graced the screen, everyone was quickly hit with a whiplash of their past teenage angst. The questions began: Should we all apologize to our moms? Did we all talk with that kind of sass? When did girlhood ever end, and why did we let it?

When I wait for Greenblatt to join our Zoom call, I half expect a poised Sasha to pop up on my screen, ready to roll her eyes at my Barbie-related questions—or, worse, call me a fascist.Instead, I’m met with a sweet yet fiercely confident 16-year-old who’s shuffling around her house, laptop in hand, trying to find her charger while simultaneously keeping focus on our conversation. Bouncing from the spacious living room to the glistening pool, I practically get a virtual home tour. Eventually, she settles herself in her bedroom, where she’s quick to bare all her future aspirations, and she has a lot of them. While Sasha may have been perceived as angsty or mean, Greenblatt’s strong nature is inherently captivating and reminds me that this is what it’s like to be passionate as a teenager in 2024.

Ariana Greenblatt sitting on table wearing blue top, checkered skirt, and satin ballet flats.

(Image credit: Leeor Wild; Styling: Miu Miu top, skirt, and shoes.)

At the age of 11, Greenblatt was named one of The Hollywood Reporter‘s Top Stars Under Age 18. After playing one of many siblings on the Disney family comedy Stuck in the Middle, she moved on to major fan-favorite franchises, with roles in Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights, and Disney+’s Ahsoka. “I’ve accidentally thrown myself into the most passionate fan bases, from Star Wars to Marvel,” Greenblatt says, reflecting on that time. “I’m like, ‘Great! I’ve just thrown myself into the volcano.’ [Although] there’s pressure, there’s also so much love behind it.”

Despite having an extensive résumé for her age, Greenblatt’s breakout role was playing the Debbie Downer, as she affectionately refers to Sasha, in Greta Gerwig’s world of girlhood. “I will forever be indebted to Barbie,” she prefaces at the start of our conversation. It was on set with the likes of Gerwig, Robbie, and America Ferrera where the young actor truly learned what it took to create a story, start to finish. While filming over the course of four months, Greenblatt committed to observing and building her career toolbox. “It’s changed everything in my life. I’ve been acting since I was 6, but everything’s changed in this past year,” she shares with a sense of awe.

Ariana Greenblatt sitting on table wearing blue top, checkered skirt, and satin ballet flats.

(Image credit: Leeor Wild; Styling: Miu Miu top, skirt, and shoes.)

No longer were her sights set on just acting. Greenblatt quickly started thinking about what she’d like to write, produce, and direct. Following the 118-day SAG strike that took place during the majority of Barbie‘s theater run, the young actor was ushered into the award-season circuit, rubbing shoulders with actors she’d spent years studying on-screen. “At the [award] shows, I just looked around at the people I was sitting with and those who were accepting awards, and it just lit a fire underneath my ass,” she says.

Ariana Greenblatt sitting on beach chair wearing pink sequin top and matching skirt.

(Image credit:  Leeor Wild)

As for what ideas will come from this fire, Greenblatt’s got plenty to share. “Right now, I’m super interested in creating an authentic, realistic coming-of-age story,” she says. Before I can respond, she quickly adds, “I know it’s been done before, but I don’t think it’s been done [often] by an actual teenage girl.” That’s true. The most popular teenage stories that come to mind have been written through the lens of someone older reflecting on their past experiences. “Being a teenager nowadays is incredibly different in every way,” she continues. “With what I’m going through, my emotions are so present and real at this very moment that I think now is when I should be creating and putting it on paper.”

The topic of time comes up heavily throughout our conversation, and for Greenblatt, waiting around for a future opportunity to tell the kinds of stories she’s interested in isn’t an option. She’s self-assured and buzzing with creativity, and she wants it now.

Ariana Greenblatt sitting on couch wearing floral dress.

(Image credit: Leeor Wild; Styling: Balenciaga dress via Fwrd; Manolo Blahnik shoes; Bea Bongiasca earrings; Kimeze sunglasses)

The absence of hesitation is a common theme I notice among the next generation in the industry. We’re all aware of the quintessential Disney pipeline, yet currently, that timeline seems to be set to hyperspeed. In the aughts and 2010s, megastars like Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, and Zendaya paid their dues on the family channel for years—acting in multiple seasons of their shows along with crossover episodes, spin-offs, and movies. Now, you have stars such as Olivia Rodrigo, who left her Disney series after three seasons to work on her Grammy-winning album, and Jenna Ortega, who quickly graduated from Stuck in the Middle to Netflix’s You and the rated-R thrillers X and Scream. Previous actors were just beginning to leave the world of Disney at age 18, but the current gen is already at the next level of their careers by the time they reach adulthood. In Greenblatt’s case, it’s already taken off, all before she even reaches her 17th birthday.

Ariana Greenblatt wearing floral multicolor dress and red sunglasses, laying down.

(Image credit: Leeor Wild; Styling: Balenciaga dress via Fwrd; Manolo Blahnik shoes; Bea Bongiasca earrings; Kimeze sunglasses)

At her young age, Greenblatt is hitting milestones that those much older are still working toward, but with the release of the five-part docuseries Quiet on Set earlier this spring, a lot of questions have come to light about how child stars are protected in this industry. For Greenblatt, keeping family close is the utmost priority. “I have a Puerto Rican mom, so she’s going to put her foot down. She’s always by me. She’s not going to let me in a room or have a conversation if she’s not there or doesn’t trust them with her entire soul,” she shares with conviction.

Ariana Greenblatt sitting on beach chair eating ice pop wearing t-shirt and jeans.

(Image credit: Leeor Wild; Styling: Gucci shirt, belt, jeans, and shoes; Octavia Elizabeth rings)

When I ask her what she thinks the industry can do better for young actors, her inner Sasha quickly comes out. “I think the change just needs to be to get the oldest people out of control—in the industry and the world in general. Get out. Go away. We don’t need you anymore,” she says. It’s a topic Greenblatt can passionately discuss at length. She pauses but emphasizes her feelings for a few more minutes as I cheer her on.

Ariana Greenblatt in a pool wearing a white tank dress.

(Image credit: Leeor Wild; Styling: Versace dress; Chanel Fine Jewelry earrings)

It’s not just the people in suits who have an impact on actors growing up in Hollywood these days. There’s the heightened presence of social media and the expectations surrounding it too. The likes of Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone may have been able to escape being tapped into digital algorithms, emphasizing a focus on their privacy, but younger actors don’t always have that same choice. “I’m not protecting my peace as much as I should be,” Greenblatt says. “It’s hard because it’s now a part of the job. You kind of can’t not have it.” At the time of publishing, Greenblatt has 3.3 million followers on Instagram and 3.2 million on TikTok. As she continues to open up about the woes of the internet, I can sense a twinge of frustration in her voice. Despite her confident personality, Greenblatt is hyperaware of how she can be perceived online. “I’m 16, so TikTok is my form of entertainment. I’ll see a video of myself pop up, and I’m like, ‘Oh, we should check the comments,’ and then I want to die. But it is what it is,” she says.

Ariana Greenblatt in a pool wearing a white tank dress.

(Image credit: Leeor Wild; Styling: Versace dress; Chanel Fine Jewelry earrings.)

These complex feelings fuel Greenblatt’s desire to create and tell stories that align with her generation’s point of view. “A lot of the time, they give teenage characters to 20- to 30-year-olds. If they do give a younger actor a role, it’s not a very meaty character,” she says. That’s what made Barbie such a monumental step for Greenblatt—it was a role with depth and one she could relate to. She recalls telling her friends about the movie and says they were quick to share their hesitation: “They were like, ‘I don’t give a shit about Barbie. She doesn’t look like me. I never played with her. I don’t relate to her.’ That is why Sasha exists. Greta gave me that path and opportunity to play a young person that had a voice, which is super important.”

Ariana Greenblatt sitting on a floatie wearing white top, shorts, and clear heels.

(Image credit: Leeor Wild; Styling: JW Anderson top and shorts; Tory Burch sunglasses; Bondeye earrings; Paris Texas shoes)

As for what’s up next, Greenblatt recently started production on the third installment of the Now You See Me film franchise, where, once again, she’s thrown into a world of deep fan expectations. She will also return to the big screen in the action-adventure comedy Borderlands, starring opposite Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black. The film is based on the best-selling video game of the same name. Her character, Tiny Tina, can be described as obnoxious, loud, and, in Greenblatt’s words, “crazy and feral.” Regarding her prep process, she explains, “People who are fans are going to want something specific, but people who have never played are going to be very confused as to why Tina is like that. I found a happy medium between giving the fans the character they’ll recognize but also introducing her to the world in a digestible manner.”

Greenblatt is determined to be a storyteller of her generation. “I think there could be more [younger roles], which is why I feel like it’s kind of my job to be like, ‘I can do this,'” she says. At 16, she’s not waiting to be given the moment to share her ideas with the world. Director Barbie, Actor Barbie, Writer Barbie—she’s ready to claim them all.

WWW cover image of Ariana Greenblatt sitting by the pool on a beach chair.

(Image credit: Leeor Wild; Styling: Gucci shirt, belt, jeans, and shoes; Octavia Elizabeth rings)

Photographer: Leeor Wild
Stylist:
Lauren Eggertsen
Hair Stylist:
Glen Oropeza
Makeup Artist: Allan Avendaño
Manicurist:
Zola Ganzorigt
Creative Director:
Amy Armani
Production:
Luciana De La Fe
Video Director:
Samuel Schultz
DP:
Samuel Miron
AC: Jon Moss
Sound: Kari Barber
Associate Video Producer:
Kellie Scott
Video Editor: Collin Hughart
Executive Director, Entertainment:
Jessica Baker
Designer: Makena Frederick
Copy Editor: Jaree Campbell

Shop the Look

light pink sparkly tank top

Miu Miu

Embellished Chiffon Top

pink sheer midi skirt

Miu Miu

Embroidered Chiffon Skirt

red swimsuit bottoms with Miu Miu logo

white tank top product shot

JW Anderson

Pointelle Tank Top

big yellow sunglasses

Tory Burch

Runway Sunglasses

Miu Miu checkered pleated skirt

Chanel star earrings

Chanel

Comete Geode Earrings

product shot of white versace tank dress

Versace

Wool-Blend Mini Dress

GG logo Marmont Reversible Belt

green strappy high heels

Manolo Blahnik

Tormentas 90s Patent Sandal

makeup products

SHEGLAM

Pout Perfect Shine Lip Plumper

makeup products

SHEGLAM

All in One Volume and Length Mascara

Alex Consani

(Image credit: Who What Wear)

.

Source

Written by: Ag Entertainment

Rate it

Post comments (0)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


AG Memberships

Your gateway to exclusives. Coming soon.

Contact us

Sign Up

Subscribe to our email list and don’t miss anything!

Concerts & Events

0%