Before Margot Robbie stepped out of a pair of pink high-heeled slippers or sat in Barbie’s iconic pink sports car, Lucy Scarfe had done it first.
As a stand-in for the actress in this summer’s blockbuster, Barbie, Lucy helped the film crew to get the perfect looks for the main character and to rehearse scenes so the leading lady would know where to stand, walk, dance – and fall over.
“I tried on lots of bikinis, lots of dresses, a lot of iconic Barbie outfits from over the years to see what they would look like on camera,” said Lucy, a former pupil at Sheringham High School. “I must have tried more than 100 potential Barbie outfits and a lot of wigs!”
She was also used to develop the perfect tan for all the Barbies — and the Kens.
“They ended up mixing lots together to get one with a plasticky look with some pink in – the dancers had to come in early to have it put on every day.”
Work started back in January 2022 and it was a far cry from the job she had as a teenager – a Saturday girl at Budgens supermarket in Holt.
“A lot of people will remember me from there,” said Lucy, who also went to Holt Primary School. “I’m a Holt girl and my mum still lives in Hempstead.
“It was during my time here that I developed a love for the performing arts. I started taking dance classes after school at Marlene’s School of Dance in Cromer and also evening acting classes at the Sheringham Little Theatre.
“I then moved to London to find more opportunities in TV and film.”
Since then Lucy, who is now 36, has worked as a stand-in for actors Anne Hathaway (in Les Miserables and The Hustle), Emma Stone (in Cruella), Daisy Ridley (In Murder On The Orient Express), Elle Fanning (in Maleficent), Kate Hudson (in Glass Onion) and Millie Bobby Brown (in Enola Holmes).
And while she is never seen on screen, she said she loved doing her job. “There is only a small number of people who do what I do, and once you establish yourself you know you can get regular work.
“You get to work with some crazy famous people and you get used to that very quickly. In a couple of days they are just part of the team.”
A lot of her work is through word of mouth and it was her work in Enola Holmes that led to the offer of the Barbie role.
“I’m always in the background,” she said. “A lot of my family say ‘What are we going to see you in?’ I always tell them they won’t, unless they recognise me when I am doubling.”
In this role she did not act as Margot’s body double which, she says, was just as well, having rehearsed the already famous scene where Barbie steps out of her shoes and her feet stay in shape.
“Margot was perfect for Barbie,” she said. “And she has the nicest feet. Much nicer than mine!”
Apart from a week filming outside in LA, the movie was shot in the Warner Brothers studios in Watford, with proper Dream Houses.
“I thought it would all be green screen but they built all the main set and the attention to detail was amazing. We had some children come round to see it and it was so funny to see their faces. It was the sweetest thing.”
When filming started, Lucy stood in to test the lighting and camera angles so Margot knew where she needed to be to complete the take.
“Margot was always so friendly and fun to be around, and so was Ryan Gosling who played Ken,” she said.
And while Lucy loves all her work, she said the Barbie role was something very special.
“As a child I played with a pink Barbie car so when I was asked to drive Barbie’s 1956 Corvette for rehearsals it was a dream come true! There was never a dull day on set – it often didn’t feel like work!”
Her next job is working on Paddington 3 – but she said she won’t be modelling duffel coats as she is a stand-in for Olivia Colman.
And while she did go to the premiere of Barbie, Lucy has an even more special showing to go to – with her mum.
“She hasn’t seen it yet and I am really looking forward to it.”