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SYFY WIRE The Fall Guy

Who’s Who in The Fall Guy? Breaking Down the Stacked Cast Led by Ryan Gosling & Emily Blunt

Inspired by the classic TV show of the same name, The Fall Guy hits the big screen Friday, May 3.

By Josh Weiss

In his latest directorial effort, The Fall Guy, David Leitch (known for Atomic Blonde, John Wick, Deadpool 2, and Bullet Train) pays loving tribute to his stuntman roots with a contemporary take on the Lee Majors-fronted TV series of the same name that ran from 1981 to 1986.

The project's devotion to the men and women who constantly defy death for our amusement is so earnest, that a new position had to be created in tandem with Universal Pictures, the Screen Actors Guild, and the Directors Guild of America. Rather than giving him the traditional credit of "Stunt Coordinator," Chris O'Hara was named Hollywood's first-ever "Stunt Designer."

RELATED: Director David Leitch Teases "Insane" Practical Effects in The Fall Guy

“Stunt Designers are the creative architects behind fight scenes, high falls, and more, and deserve to be recognized for the creative leadership of their contributions,” Leitch said in a statement. “Universal’s decision to allow [producer] Kelly [McCormick] and me to add ‘Stunt Designer’ to Chris’ credit on The Fall Guy marks a groundbreaking move for a major studio. We hope this will pave the way for the stunts industry to get the recognition it deserves."

Of course, recognition hasn't always been the way for stunt performers, not when they're meant to seamlessly blend in with the stars they're doubling. But by mixing record-breaking stunt-work, action, romance, comedy, and an ensemble cast of A-listers, The Fall Guy — hitting theaters everywhere Friday, May 3 (click here for tickets) — is the complete package. Consider it the perfect way to kick off the summer blockbuster season. And speaking of the killer cast, here's a nifty rundown of all the major players in the story...

Breaking Down the Cast and Characters of David Leitch's The Fall Guy

Ryan Gosling as Colt Seavers

Ryan Gosling smiles in a red jacket.

Hot off his third-ever Oscar nomination (and his triumphant Saturday Night Live hosting gig), Ryan Gosling steps into the shoes of Colt Seavers, a veteran Hollywood stuntman who decides to call it quits after a fall (pun intended) nearly ends his career and shatters a long-cultivated aura of invincibility. The industry drags him back in when producer Gail Meyer asks him for his help in tracking down the world's biggest movie star. Normally, Colt would refuse, but the job is just the opportunity he needs to reconnect with an old flame. Little does he know: accepting the investigative gig will lead him to the heart of a sinister criminal conspiracy more dangerous than any film set.

“It’s not about superheroes, but about the people who play them,” Gosling explains in the studio's official production notes. “Colt is a blue-collar hero, who, in a lot of ways, is just a regular guy. He’s relatable, struggling with loss and trying to find his way back. He’s resilient, the kind of person we hope to be in tough circumstances, someone who keeps getting back up and doesn’t give up.”

Emily Blunt as Jody Moreno

Emily Blunt smiles in a black and white checkered jacket.

Colt's aforementioned "old flame," Emily Blunt's Jody Moreno is a big-budget director looking to keep her latest tentpole, Metalstorm (a Mad Max/Dune-style science fiction epic), together when her leading man suddenly vanishes without a trace.

"I wanted to avoid the cliché of an earnest, tough director," says the Oscar nominee. "In conversations with David, we envisioned her navigating the tempest of moviemaking, mirroring the real struggles directors face in the chaotic film industry. She needed to be accessible... a bit of a creative whirlwind steering her passion project. Sometimes white knuckling it. She isn’t defined solely by her role as a director; but she is passionate, creative, eccentric, and endearing. Exploring her further during development only deepened my affection for who she is at her core."

Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Tom Ryder

Aaron Taylor-Johnson smolders in all-black.

The biggest celebrity in Hollywood, Aaron Taylor-Johnson's Tom Ryder is the leading man of Metalstorm. Without him, there is no movie. He's a bankable name guaranteed to put butts in seats, but don't let him hear you say it — his head is big enough as it is. Tom's an egotistical, self-absorbed, spiteful, and conniving blockhead.

"Tom Ryder is one of those people who can’t stand anyone doing something better than him,” Taylor-Johnson says. “His ethos is ‘I’m the movie star. I am the most important, no one should look better than me... especially my stunt double. No one wants to see your face. You’re the back of my head.’ There’s a hierarchy on set and ego is involved, so he’ll find ways to cut others down to size. At his core, he’s a narcissist. He’s someone who believes in his own hype. He’s a brand. He’s delusional and speaks of himself in the third person. He’s not going to be accountable to anyone for anything."

RELATED: The Latest Trailer for The Fall Guy Might Be the Most Stunt-Filled Thing We've Ever Seen

Winston Duke as Dan Tucker

Winston Duke smiles in sunglasses and a white shirt.

Famous for his roles as Jabari Tribe Chieftain M'Baku in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Gabe Wilson in Jordan Peele's Us, Winston Duke plays the role of Dan Tucker, Colt's close friend and the stunt coordinator on Metalstorm.

“In the case of our film within the film, Metalstorm, being a big action movie, it was crucial to have a cutting-edge and enthusiastic young stunt coordinator," Leitch explains. "Metalstorm is one of Dan’s first jobs as a coordinator, and he has to step up to the plate on a demanding set. When we approached Winston for the role, he brought some fantastic ideas about his character and how to emphasize the high stakes involved."

Hannah Waddingham as Gail Meyer

Hannah Waddingham smiles in a black and gold dress.

While a film producer can often wear a lot of hats, their main job is to keep the proverbial runway clear, so a director and the actors can do their jobs without worrying about the finer details of a production (i.e. budgeting, logistics, etc.). If you're a formidable and high-level producer like Hannah Waddingham's Gail Meyer, you do whatever it takes to keep the cameras rolling — even when your lead star goes missing.

“I think her heart is in the right place,” Waddingham says. “She’s trying to maintain — she keeps saying — 'the greatest commodity in the world,' 'the greatest product in the world,' the biggest star, who is Tom Ryder. People might say that Gail is twisted and self-serving, but I think that’s another element of her just getting the job done."

RELATED: The Fall Guy World Premiere at SXSW 2024: First Reviews Praise Wild Blockbuster With Heart

Stephanie Hsu as Alma Milan

Stephanie Hsu smiles in a white dress.

Oscar-nominated Stephanie Hsu plays Tom Ryder's assistant, Alma Milan. To add a sense of realism to her character, the actress made it a habit of observing the film's assistants and PAs on a regular basis.

"[I] came up with this bit for Alma where she’s always carrying like ten million things," Hsu reveals. "I looked around me and saw everyone sweating, running around, working so hard and dealing with all sorts of shenanigans. Alma is up and coming, and she wants to be a producer one day. She loves this industry and wants to be someone in it someday, but right now, she’s swallowing the hard pills of having to cope with Ryder."

Teresa Palmer as Iggy Starr

Teresa Palmer smiles in a black dress.

Described as Tom Ryder's "showmance girlfriend," Iggy Star is another member of the Metalstorm ensemble. She's also wild, unpredictable, and ready for battle. In fact, her very first scene involves a fight with Colt in Tom's apartment. 

“It’s a really dynamic way for my character to enter the film,” Palmer teases. “There's a lot of banter, jumping, flips, a knee slide... all sorts of crazy things. It was exciting to read that in the script. I thought, ‘Oh, this is a show-stopping entry!’"

Lee Majors as TBD

Lee Majors smolders in a suit.

It's an unspoken Hollywood rule that if you're going to turn a classic TV show into a blockbuster movie, you always reach out to the original star (or stars) to see if they're interested in making a cameo appearance. If they say yes, you have the ultimate blessing to proceed. Mr. Majors answered the call, but right now, we don't know who he's playing in the film. 

“He came out to Australia and I had an opportunity to talk to him and spend the day with him,” Gosling told People earlier this year. “It was pretty great.”

Following its world premiere at SXSW, The Fall Guy will arrive on the big screen Friday, May 3. Click here to pick up tickets!