‘It's Just Such A Strange Thing’: Ryan Gosling Talks How Weird It Was Having So Many Stunt-Double Lookalikes On The Fall Guy

 Still of Ryan Gosling in The Fall Guy.
Still of Ryan Gosling in The Fall Guy.

Just as the world starts to move on from Ryan Gosling’s viral I’m Just Ken insanity that dominated pop culture for most of 2023, he’s back on the big screen, this time as a lovestruck stuntman in The Fall Guy, which is about to hit the 2024 movies schedule. Here’s his secret, though: he’s not a real stunt double. he just plays one on screen. The reality of the matter is that he’s one of the biggest movie stars in the world and needs a stunt double himself. So does his co-star Aaron Taylor-Johnson, whose character Gosling’s is doubling as within the ultra-meta universe of The Fall Guy.

Are you confused yet? Allow me to simplify: at any given time, the action on screen can require up to six duplicates of the same character, as the actors playing stunt guys still need stunt guys. One can only imagine that this would get a little confusing, but Ryan Gosling seemed to enjoy the hell out of it.

I caught up with him and his co-star Emily Blunt to talk about The Fall Guy, and when I brought up this bizarre stuntman inception, Gosling made a humorous reference to Russian nesting dolls:

It was like a Matryoshka doll of space cowboys. Just one after the other… But that was so fun because I've been on sets where we're not acknowledging that. And it's just sort of like there's ten of the same character. And, you know, it's just such a strange thing. So to finally get to actually work it into a film was so fun.

He’s not wrong! This is actually the third time Gosling has played a stuntman, previously risking it all on films The Place Beyond The Pines and Drive. Now he finally gets to work that madness into the actual storytelling. The “space cowboy” in question refers to the protagonist of the film they’re shooting in The Fall Guy, who, you can see with four of his duplicates in the thumbnail for this Fall Guy stunts featurette:

This is barely scratching the surface of The Fall Guy’s meta “movie within a movie” elements. Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Tom Ryder is the biggest action star in the world in this universe, and just as the film is gearing up for this week’s release in real life, news started spilling that Taylor-Johnson himself may be the frontrunner to play James Bond. Is this just a bizarre Hollywood coincidence? Aaron Taylor-Johnson himself has been passing off Bond rumors with short, blunt responses, but The Fall Guy director David Leitch was pretty straightforward with his feelings on the matter, and even hinted that he wanted to direct it.

The Fall Guy is a beautiful love letter to Hollywood and big popcorn blockbusters specifically. Our own Sean O’connell called Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt’s chemistry “undeniable,” fans went crazy for it at SXSW last month, and during filming, they even broke a Guinness world record. I also really liked it, if that counts for anything.

You can see The Fall Guy in theaters this Friday, May 3! It’s a charming tribute to cinema and stunt performers, and every movie lover should see it.