Ryan Gosling has said he has a greater appreciation for stunt performers after facing his fears by dropping 12 storeys off a building in his new action comedy The Fall Guy.

The Hollywood star, 43, plays stuntman Colt Seavers, who comes out of retirement to work on a new blockbuster being directed by his former partner Jody Moreno, played by Emily Blunt.

Things get complicated as he attempts to track down the film’s missing movie star, solve a conspiracy and win back the love of his life while still doing his day job.

The Fall Guy special screening – London
Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt at the special screening of The Fall Guy in London (Ian West/PA)

Real-life performers took on the majority of the stunts in the film, but Gosling completed a few himself including the dramatic opening scene.

Discussing whether this gave him more appreciation of stunt performers, he told the PA news agency on the red carpet of a screening of the film in London: “My god, absolutely.

“The opening scene in this movie is a very long one shot. It’s the character walking through set, just another day at the office, talking to everyone else, except his job is a little different.

“He goes up 12 storeys and then they drop him off the side of the building at the end of the scene.

“I have a fear of heights. It was not really, actually, very dangerous because it was so safe and well rigged, but it was a good taste for me.

“It was like a day in the life of a stunt person and I think it sets up the movie really well.”

Gosling’s character is at the centre of many nail-biting action sequences alongside other members of the cast including Blunt, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Hannah Waddingham, Winston Duke and Stephanie Hsu.

The Canadian actor, who recently starred as Ken in the Barbie blockbuster, said it was “very exciting” to be a part of a project that acknowledged how crucial stunt performers and backstage crew are in the creation of films.

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years now and I’ve worked with stunt doubles my whole career. They’re such selfless people,” he said.

“They come in, they take the hits for you, they suffer personal injury so that you don’t have to, and then they get none of the credit.

“It’s not cool and it needs to change, and it’s very exciting to be a part of something like this that turns the camera on them because they are the real heroes.”

He added that the film’s director, real-life stuntman David Leitch – who has been behind blockbusters including Bullet Train, Deadpool 2 and Atomic Blonde – was his inspiration when developing his role.

The Fall Guy special screening – London
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Emily Blunt, Ryan Gosling and Winston Duke all star in the new action comedy (Ian West/PA)

“It’s a rare movie where the director isn’t researching this film in order to direct, he’s been researching his whole life,” he said.

“And to have a former stuntman directing a film about stunt people, you couldn’t ask for a better marriage of director and material.

“It’s a great to set an action movie in the world of people who make them.”

Blunt’s character, a director taking on her debut solo project, highlights the added pressure placed on first-time female filmmakers to create a successful film.

She said: “I think, initially, she was maybe going to be a make-up artist (but) I think they all liked the idea of the stakes of having a character who had to juggle so much, and hold so much together.

“And so the last thing she needs is the ex-boyfriend coming in and turning everything into chaos.”

The British actress, who recently starred in the Oscar-winning Christopher Nolan epic Oppenheimer, as well as appearing in major productions including The Devil Wears Prada and A Quiet Place, revealed she drew on her past experiences when creating the character.

“I think it was just important for me to just use every single nuance that I’ve learned over the years of being around people on a film set, the empathy I have for directors,” she added.

The Fall Guy opens in cinemas on May 3.