What we know about Filipino-American Barbie, Ana Cruz Kayne

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Ana Cruz Kayne plays Supreme Court Justice Barbie in the film. Photos from ANA CRUZ KAYNE/INSTAGRAM

Stars took Barbiecore to another level last July 9 in Hollywood for the premiere of Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” movie. It was a parade of pink as audiences tuned in to see what celebrities would wear to pay homage to the beloved doll.

Gerwig showed up to the premiere in a hot pink blazer and Barbie herself, Margot Robbie, opted to ditch the pink for a black sequined Schiaparelli Haute Couture gown inspired by the 1960s Barbie Solo in the Spotlight doll. Pop star Dua Lipa stole the show in a see-through silver Bottega Veneta chainmail dress.

But of all the looks, one stood out because of its familiarity — a pastel pink balintawak top with butterfly sleeves, worn by Filipino-American actress Ana Cruz Kayne. Kayne plays Supreme Court Justice Barbie in the film, and was introduced along with the other cast members in a series of promo photos last April.

According to her stylist PJ Pascual, Kayne’s premiere look was a collaboration between himself and the actress, with the custom Dennis Lustico butterfly sleeve top being an homage to her Filipino roots and the Herve Leger fringe dress representing her American roots.

Posting on Instagram after the premiere, Kayne thanked her team, including stylists Pascual and Nikko Panti (both Filipino) for her beaded ensemble. “Maraming salamat to my dream team for sending me down the pink carpet feeling like my own snatched fairy godmother,” she said in the caption.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the actress called the experience of stepping into Barbie World for the first time “intoxicating.” “I felt emotions because it was so beautiful and so detailed,” she said from the pink carpet. “The sets were also so grand. Anything with a giant size, I’m like ‘I’m so small, this infinite world, and that’s a giant slide. Can I touch it?’ Anything that makes you feel insignificant I think in the grand scheme of life is emotional.”

While there isn’t much about the Fil-Am actress online, we gathered a few bits of information while digging around the interwebs. Read more about Ana Cruz Kayne below.

She didn’t own a Barbie doll as a kid

Confessing that she was a bit of a “tomboy” as a kid, Kayne mentioned in an interview with The Messenger that Barbie wasn’t her toy of choice back then. "I didn't grow up playing with Barbie because she was a completely perfect blonde girl that I didn't relate to," she said. She also mentioned that she bought her very first Barbie — a veterinarian who "seemed not quite super white" and "had a cat" after sending in her audition tape.

Her mother is Filipina, and her family has roots in Bulacan

Kayne’s mother, Maria, is from the Philippines. While not much is known about her family’s roots, in 2020, she posted a photo wearing Filipiniana attire at a funeral with the location set in Hagonoy, Bulacan.

Her interests include cats and retro gymnastics

The lone highlight on her Instagram profile shows a series of photos dedicated to a video greeting from gymnast Nadia Comaneci, a five-time Olympic gold medalist. Sent as a gift by her friend Rosie, the video features Comaneci greeting Kayne ahead of her birthday. Kayne’s cat, named Olympics after her love of the games, also features prominently on her feed.

She worked with the “Barbie” costume designer to incorporate another Filipiniana look into the film

In the same Messenger interview, she revealed that she worked with the Academy Award-winning “Barbie” costume designer Jacqueline Durran to come up with the traditional Filipiniana outfit that she wore in an important scene in the film.

She’s used to playing characters related to the law

Playing Supreme Court Barbie isn’t her first time in a law-adjacent role. Since beginning acting in 2007, she’s also appeared in shows including “Partner Track,” “The Bold Type,” and “Blue Bloods.”

She was also in Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women”

“Barbie” isn’t Kayne’s first time working with director Greta Gerwig. The actress appeared as Olivia in 2019’s “Little Women” and has several Instagram posts up of the two of them together.

Her brother is writer-comedian Michael Cruz Kayne

Kayne is the only daughter, having two older brothers. One of these brothers is Michael Cruz Kayne, a writer on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and a stand-up comedian.

Her next project is a Netflix series alongside “Orange is the New Black” star Uzo Aduba

She plays Brianna Ortiz in the upcoming Netflix series “Painkiller.” Also starring Uzo Aduba, Matthew Broderick, Taylor Kitsch, and West Duchovny, the series is about “the causes and consequences of America's opioid epidemic unfold in this drama following its perpetrators, victims and an investigator seeking the truth.”

“Barbie” is showing in theaters starting July 19.