The Fall Guy is ‘making dreams come true’ for the film’s stunt performers

Ryan Gosling stars opposite Emily Blunt as a down-and-out stuntman tasked with finding an actor who's gone missing

Watch: The Fall Guy director David Leitch and producer Kelly McCormick discuss the film's stunt work

Starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, The Fall Guy follows stuntman Colt (Gosling) who – a year after a life-changing injury – is brought back into the movie business to help find the actor he used to double for, Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).

The search for the missing actor won't be easy because he was in deep with some shady people, but Colt has an even more difficult task ahead of him: making amends with the film's director, and his ex, Jody Moreno (Blunt) after breaking her heart.

A movie like this demanded a lot of stunts, and Leitch – who worked previously as a stunt double for Brad Pitt and Matt Damon amongst others – was more than happy to oblige. Putting stunt performers in the spotlight was important, and the film's extravagant stunts helped make dreams "come true" for the 95-person strong stunt team, McCormick reveals.

"When stunt performers go into the job of being stunt performers they want to do stunts and there's times when you might do a fall down the stairs or get punched, or get hit by a car, all that kind of stuff," she explains.

The Fall Guy (Universal)
Ryan Gosling is Colt Seavers in The Fall Guy, which follows a stuntman tasked with finding a missing actor and saw a number of big stunts be brought to life by professionals behind-the-scenes. (Universal)

"But in this one we did some such epic scenes that actually we were making dreams come true for those guys, and that was incredibly exciting.

"[We had] a world record in the Cannon Roll first and foremost, those are hard to do that's why they're called world records! Then [we had] the jump over the crevasse, and then the high fall was Troy Brown's personal best."

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"It just was so exciting to be able to be adding to their careers, and there was a lot of joy in that," McCormick went on.

Leitch explains that the film took inspiration from his experience as a stunt performer, at least the part of the story surrounding Colt's stunt work and how performers can be seen on set. Stunt performers risk their lives everyday, but they do it for the joy of bringing a film together no matter how painful a stunt can be to complete.

L to R: Director David Leitch and Ryan Gosling (as Colt Seavers) on the set of THE FALL GUY (Universal)
The film, directed by David Leitch (left), is full of epic stunts, which the film's 95-strong stunt team brought to life onscreen. (Universal)

"I think a lot of it is is influenced from my experiences," Leitch says. "I mean, not directly, there's crazy things that happen, but Hollywood truth is stranger than fiction.

"So having a wealth of knowledge in the stunt world was really fun to bring to the big screen and to shine a light on those underdog heroes — It was great to direct from such a wealth of experience. Like I don't normally get to do that, and that was really exciting."

The film is not only about the action it's also about the love story between Colt and Jody, which the former is desperately hoping to rekindle despite the hurt he caused. The characters have a unique chemistry full of pointed banter and quirky jokes, but it works well because of Gosling and Blunt.

Comedy was an important aspect of the story for Leitch, as he says: "We were trying to make something that the audience would love at any given time.

The Fall Guy (Universal)
The film's producer Kelly McCormick said some scenes were 'making dreams come true for' the stunt team. Performers Ben Jenkin, Logan Holladay, Justin Eaton are pictured with the cast. (Universal)

"And so you don't want to exclude anything, like in this scene if you had the potential for comedy why not lean into it? If this scene had the potential for the real feels and emotional stakes then we leaned into it.

Calling Gosling a "comedic genius", the filmmaker went on: "Luckily you have someone in Ryan who can do all those things, and understood the movie that we wanted to make that explored all those things.

"It can [all] live in a big commercial movie — You can have real dramatic stakes, you can have romance, and you can have big laughs."

Blunt's character was originally intended to be a make-up artist, but McCormick explains that they chose to change things up and make her a camera operator turned first time director as a way to give a "little wink that we need to get more women behind the camera" in Hollywood.

L to R: Ryan Gosling is Colt Seavers and Emily Blunt is Judy Moreno in THE FALL GUY, directed by David Leitch (Universal)
David Leitch said it was helpful 'having a wealth of knowledge in the stunt world' as he could 'shine a light on those underdog heroes'. (Universal)

"We wanted the weight of her dreams to be on her shoulders," McCormick explains. "And the last thing she wants in the middle of that is this ghosted lover come back in and make her feel like she's on edge. What Emily brought was a warmth to that, because that's a really dangerous spot to be.

"She's a boss, she's in charge and she's angry at that guy, and instead she's playing it with all these other layers. Of vulnerability, of warmth, of loving her job and this opportunity, and that's the harder part. So we owe it all to Emily."

L to R: Ryan Gosling is Colt Seavers and Emily Blunt is Judy Moreno in THE FALL GUY, directed by David Leitch (Universal)
Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt made quite a pair in the film, and David Leitch went so far as to call Gosling a 'comedic genius'.(Universal)

The Fall Guy is held up by Gosling and Blunt, but it is also brought to life thanks to the incredible stunt performers that worked behind-the-scenes to execute Leitch's vision for an epic action film that brought their efforts to the forefront of audiences minds. Another way that Hollywood will be able to continue this mission is by giving more credit to stunt performers at official awards ceremonies, like the Oscars.

Leitch admits he's feeling positive about this happening in the future, explaining that he and other stunt performers inside the Academy are working hard together to make an Oscar for stunt work a reality.

"We really do feel like there's a lot of there's a warm reception with the Academy," the director says. "As we're locking in how it could all take place. Now [those who work in] casting got their award, we think there's a real blueprint for how we can get it done."

Hopefully, then, it won't be long until dreams come true for stunt performers off set too.

The Fall Guy premieres in cinemas and IMAX on Friday, 2 May.