A love letter to stunt performers, ‘The Fall Guy,’ premieres at SXSW.  

Austin, Texas — Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt premiered "The Fall Guy," an affectionate, action-packed tribute to stunt work and the dedicated professionals who put their bodies into filmmaking, at the South By Southwest Film and TV Festival after the Oscars.

“The Fall Guy,” directed by stuntman-turned-filmmaker David Leitch, was one of the most anticipated SXSW world premieres. Blunt and Gosling were both nominated for Oscars on Sunday, and Gosling's “I'm Just Ken” brought the house down. Tuesday night's buzz was even stronger.

No worries—I won't sing. I promise,” Gosling said before the film, drawing boos. But that was the only complaint from the boisterous Austin, Texas, audience that devoured “The Fall Guy,” Universal's action film largely based on the 1980s TV series that will debut May 3.

Gosling plays Colt Seavers, a stunt double for big-screen star Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who is persuaded to return to work on his lost love's sci-fi directorial debut after a devastating fall. “The Fall Guy” boasts nonstop action in the movie-within-the-movie and off-set adventures.

“We really wanted to celebrate crews and the magic behind the scenes,” said Leitch, Brad Pitt's stunt double before making his first film, 2014's “John Wick.” His last film, “Bullet Train,” stars Pitt.

That imaginative casting didn't compare to “The Fall Guy”'s amusing role reversals. It stars a megawatt A-lister as a stuntman whose face is a filmmaking liability, alongside many stunt workers from “The Fall Guy.” Logan Holladay was able to replicate Gosling's antics, including a record-breaking automobile accident with 8 ½ rolls.

The clip shows him buckling me in for a stunt. After it happens, I get out of the car and he pats me on the back for his stunt, Gosling added. I adore this movie because in any other film, you wouldn't know it, but in this one, you do.” The SXSW premiere of “The Fall Guy” featured stunts. Blunt and Gosling came in a pick-up after two motorcyclists raced through the Paramount Theater audience.

Not just Blunt and Gosling were Oscar Awards fresh. The broadcast's stunt clip reel was created by Leitch and his wife, Kelly McCormick, a “The Fall Guy” producer. Leitch thinks stunt performance will be an Oscar category soon, despite “The Fall Guy”'s protest to the contrary. An Oscar for casting was recently approved by the academy.

In the meanwhile, “The Fall Guy” highlights stunt performers and other crew members. “Many movies about filmmaking are cynical. I've found that everyone cares, Gosling stated. “Even if it's a mug, the prop person will bring out 10 mugs and break one of the handles and glue it back because they thought it might have broken but has sentimental value to you.”

Sentiment matters more in “The Fall Guy” than you realize. Leitch said the love story was initially less significant, but Gosling persuaded him to develop it. “The Fall Guy” glorifies faceless film workers, but its two leads carry it with charisma and chemistry.

Blunt was nominated for her supporting role in best picture winner “Oppenheimer.” Gosling quipped, “Emily could create chemistry with a trash can.” Gosling found meaning in another “Fall Guy” co-star, a French-only attack dog.

Eva (Mendes) and I had a Belgian malinois attack dog named Hugo. “He only spoke French,” Gosling claimed. This is my tribute to him since he died. I miss him. A bon garcon.” The best romance in “The Fall Guy” is for the movies in many respects. Also mentioned are “Rocky” and “The Last of the Mohicans.” Stunt workers' brutality is hidden in those and other films. The Fall Guy reverses the script.

Gosling remarked, “I'm Ryan Gosling and I did almost none of my own stunts in this movie.”

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