Ryan Gosling Dropped '12 Stories Off of a Building' for “Fall Guy” Stunts: 'I Have a Fear of Heights!' (Exclusive)

Despite the actor's fear of heights, he says "it was important that [he] do a few" stunts himself

<p>Universal Pictures/YouTube</p> Ryan Gosling in <em>The Fall Guy</em> (2024)

Universal Pictures/YouTube

Ryan Gosling in The Fall Guy (2024)

Ryan Gosling faced his fears head-on for The Fall Guy.

The 43-year-old actor took some time to chat with PEOPLE Wednesday at the action-comedy's SXSW premiere in Austin, Texas, and revealed that for one stunt, "They dropped me we stories off of a building, and I have a fear of heights."

Gosling also "did a few more" stunts on his own, he says. And while he "would have been happy to say I did none of my own stunts in this movie," it was "important" to him that he "do a few," as the star of the film and to get closer to the work himself.

"It helped me to understand exactly on some small level what [stunt workers] do every day," he says.

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<p>Daniel Boczarski/Getty </p> Ryan Gosling at the SXSW premiere of <em>The Fall Guy</em> on March 12, 2024, in Austin, Texas

Daniel Boczarski/Getty

Ryan Gosling at the SXSW premiere of The Fall Guy on March 12, 2024, in Austin, Texas

Related: See Actors and Their Stunt Doubles, Side-by-Side

The Fall Guy is loosely based on the 1980s CBS series of the same name, and costars Emily Blunt.

As its trailer demonstrates, the movie, directed by David Leitch, tells the story of Hollywood stuntman Colt Seavers (Gosling) roped by his former flame Jody Moreno (Blunt, 41) into helping her pull off filming an explosive sci-fi-Western.

As revealed to Vanity Fair, Leitch, 48, brought his distinct expertise to the “bonkers” job as a stuntman himself — for Matt Damon in The Bourne Ultimatum, Brad Pitt in Fight Club and more.

“Obviously in modern cinema we have the use of CGI, and we use it liberally,” said the director. “But when we’re making a love letter to stunts and the blue-collar crews that make these movies come to life, we explored doing old-school high falls into airbags, and jumping a car as far as we could, and rolling a car as many times as we could.”

The Fall Guy’s first trailer teased some of those death-defying stunts, as well as Hannah Waddingham as the movie-within-a-movie’s smarmy producer Winston Duke as its stunt coordinator, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as its cocky leading man (who mysteriously disappears), and Stephanie Hsu as his assistant.

Among the multiple stunt performers used to double Gosling throughout filming were driving specialist Logan Holladay, fighter Justin Eaton and "the core double" Ben Jenkins, who, according to Leitch, "got hit by cars" and "jumped over fences."

Troy Brown, another stunt double, executed a fall of 150 feet.

“You have your friends and colleagues and all these people that you love so much doing these big stunts, but you know the consequences,” Leitch told Vanity Fair. “You have full confidence they’re going to do ’em safely, but there’s still that small fraction of a chance that something could go wrong. Yeah, there are some heavy moments waiting for that thumbs-up.”

The Fall Guy is in theaters May 3.

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