Issa Rae Says Dancing in “Barbie” Was 'My Worst Nightmare': 'The Worst Day of My Life'

Issae Rae shares that the 'Barbie' team did not have a final version of Dua Lipa's 'Dance the Night' ready when they filmed a dance sequence set to the track

<p>Max/YouTube</p> Issa Rae in


Issa Rae in 'Barbie'

Issa Rae is reliving her Barbie movie dance sequence.

Rae, 39, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter along with the stars of her Max comedy series Rap Sh!t, KaMillion and Aida Osman, to walk through a variety of predictions for the upcoming 2024 Grammy Awards ahead of the Feb. 4 music industry awards ceremony.

When the group were asked to predict a winner for the best song written for visual media category, which includes Dua Lipa's hit Barbie song "Dance the Night," Rae shared that she found it difficult to learn choreography for Barbie's major dance sequence that featured the track.

"Dancing to it was my worst nightmare. It was the worst day of my life," she said. "It was the best day of my life being on that set. It was exciting, and then literally the first day, I had to learn the choreography to shoot the [following] day. And it was terrible."'

"Dance the Night" can be heard early on in Barbie as Margot Robbie's Barbie throws a party at her home. Rae's character, President Barbie, dances along to the song with a number of Barbies, Kens and other characters.

Related: Issa Rae Didn’t Think Her Body Was in 'Barbie Shape,' Talks Feeling 'Less Insecure' After Seeing Diverse Cast

<p>Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures</p> Issa Rae in 'Barbie'

Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

Issa Rae in 'Barbie'

Rae additionally noted that "Dance the Night" was not fully complete when the production filmed the elaborate dance sequence.

"We also didn’t have the lyrics to the song," she told the outlet with a laugh. "[Filmmaker Greta Gerwig] was like, 'Oh, it’s going to be a Dua Lipa song,' But all we had was the instrumental, so I was just like, 'What the f--- is this? What am I dancing to?' "

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The Dua Lipa-Mark Ronson collaboration is nominated at the Grammys alongside three other tracks from Barbie in Bille Eilish's "What Was I Made For?" and Ryan Gosling's "I'm Just Ken," as well as Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice's "Barbie World." Eilish's song previously won best original song in a motion picture at the 2024 Golden Globe Awards. The four movie tracks are nominated alongside Rihanna's "Lift Me Up," which appeared in 2022's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

"And for that, I want 'Barbie World' to win because I didn’t have to dance to that," Rae told THR, throwing her Grammys support behind Minaj and Ice Spice's track.

Related: 'Barbie' Is Now Streaming! How to Watch the Record-Breaking Greta Gerwig Hit from Home

Rae's Barbie character is introduced as the president of Barbie Land. Her character returns to that office by the end of the movie, which features a temporary takeover of Barbie Land by many of the Kens, led by Ryan Gosling, featured in the film. During an appearance on The View in December, Rae shared, "People will call me President Barbie when I'm just out on the street."

"I didn't know how much that would mean to me," she said at the time. "I'm like, 'Oh, salute, yes!' "

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