French-Filipina beauty queen plays Hippie Barbie in Mattel movie
“Barbie,” director Greta Gerwig’s take on the iconic doll, in case you haven’t gone to the theaters to see it yet, is a treat. The film that celebrates and sometimes subverts the history and meaning of Mattel’s intellectual property also has a stacked cast that includes Filipino-American actress Ana Cruz Kayne. She plays Supreme Court Barbie in the idealized feminist utopia that is Barbieland.
But did you know another actress of Filipina descent was also featured in the movie? It was a blink-and-you-miss-it moment but nonetheless a defining one. In the montage that goes through the history of the plastic doll—from its creation in 1959 to rival baby dolls to representing what’s possible for women in the intervening years—Miss Universe Philippines Albay 2022 Julia Saubier plays 1971 Live Action Barbie, also known as Hippie Barbie.
“All of these women are Barbie,” Helen Mirren aka Narrator Barbie says in her omnipresent God-like voice, “And Barbie is all of these women.”
In the scene, Saubier’s Hippie Barbie clad in a matching printed top and pants and long hair held by a leather headband is joined by the likes of astronaut Barbie, nurse Barbie, stewardess Barbie, aerobics Barbie, Totally Hair Barbie, and the original Barbie in a black and white striped bathing suit.
Live Action Barbie, released in 1971, was marketed as a doll that can be posed and moved differently. She also sings on her own stage with a special record that comes with it.
Julia Saubier’s ‘Barbie’ experience
In an Instagram post, the French-Filipina actor and beauty queen said she didn’t think she’d be beside Margot Robbie, who stars as the movie’s lead (and producer) so soon. Though it was only a three-second scene, she adds that she had a “sick time on set on this [very, very, very] iconic film!”
She also expressed her gratitude for being cast alongside “some of the greatest on here.” She wrote, “So [very] grateful to share the screen.”
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In 2022, Lyon-born Saubier joined Miss Universe Philippines representing Albay. Prior to that, she competed in Binibining Pilipinas in 2019. The 5’11” beauty queen and actor financed her studies from high school to her master’s degree through academic scholarships.
She graduated from New York University Abu Dhabi and then was selected as a Yenching Scholar at the Yenching Academy of Peking University. According to her IMDb page, she is now based in London where she completed her training at the Identity School of Acting in London.