‘Fall Guy’ Star Emily Blunt Talks Ryan Gosling, Taylor Swift, and the Scariest Movie Stunt She’s Ever Done

Acclaimed actress also reveals plans to star in “The Smashing Machine” with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

May 1, 2024

Whether she’s saving her family from alien invaders in “A Quiet Place,” braving deadly Amazonian threats in “Jungle Cruise,” or taking down international drug cartels in “Sicario,” Hollywood superstar Emily Blunt has cemented herself as one of the most bankable action stars in the business. Her role is a bit different, however, in her explosive new action-comedy “The Fall Guy,” which sees Blunt playing a high-profile director and co-star Ryan Gosling playing both her stuntman and ex-boyfriend. While Emily doesn’t have any real-life directing credits to her name, she does have one obvious source of inspiration: her husband John Krasinski, who directed Emily in “A Quiet Place” and its equally celebrated 2021 sequel.

“There’s a lot to draw from,” Emily told Howard on Monday during her much-anticipated Stern Show return. “John is very enthusiastic. He’ll be the guy behind the monitor … cheering you on.”

Howard and Emily’s free-flowing conversation touched upon several different subjects, from her early career and marriage to why she’s seen the classic Julia Roberts rom-com “Pretty Woman” at least 67 times. Blunt also discussed her Oscar-nominated portrayal of Kitty Oppenheimer in this year’s Best Picture winner, “Oppenheimer,” and how the life of Sylvia Sidney — “a saucy broad” from the Golden Age of Hollywood — inspired her performance. And while Emily didn’t take home the Oscar this year, she did go viral after presenting an award alongside her “Fall Guy” co-star. Emily and Ryan have enjoyed a friendly rivalry ever since Blunt’s “Oppenheimer” and Gosling’s “Barbie” opened on the same weekend last July, and they’ve respectfully poked fun at the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon several times since then, including at the Oscars and earlier this month on “Saturday Night Live.”

“Ryan wrote it, so that’s why it worked,” Emily noted of the duo’s well-received Oscars bit. “He knows how to write for both of us now, and that’s what we did on ‘Fall Guy’ — I know how to do shtick with him, he’s an easy person to bounce off of.”

“Oppenheimer” was such a monumental experience that Blunt is now in a group text chain with her so-called “Oppenhomies,” co-stars Robert Downey Jr. and Cillian Murphy. And while she’s also in a text group with Gosling and “The Fall Guy” director David Leitch, the actress told Howard she has her limits. “I’m never going to be on a text chain with seven people because I don’t want to read all those texts,” she confessed.

Emily Will Star Alongside The Rock in ‘The Smashing Machine’

Emily and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s 2021 fantasy-adventure film “Jungle Cruise” was a success no matter how you slice it. Not only did it make $220 million at the worldwide box office, but Emily seemingly made a friend for life in the Rock.

“I love him,” she told Howard, explaining it was surreal to work alongside him after growing up in a house where her brother idolized the wrestler turned actor. “I remember walking into my TV room and my brother was mainlining the Rock, then I’m working with him years later. It’s just so wild,” she laughed.

Though she doesn’t expect one in return, Emily makes a habit of giving co-stars a present after a film wraps. “I just think it’s important,” she told Howard. “You’ve survived something together. You’ve been in this insular world [with] these incredibly accelerated friendships. You’ve done something impossible — it’s impossible to make a film.”

But when she gifted the Rock a signed “Raiders of the Lost Ark” poster after “Jungle Cruise,” it was the last thing her co-star expected. “As soon as I started walking into his trailer with it, he was like, ‘No, no, no, no, no! Oh fuck, fuck, fuck — I didn’t get you anything!’ Like, he was so panicked,” Blunt recalled with a laugh. “But he’s given me lots of gifts since,” she continued, such as sports gear and “endless tequila.”

Emily also broke some Rock-related news on the Stern Show, announcing for the first time that the two actors will renew their onscreen relationship in a 2025 feature starring the Rock as famed mixed martial artist Mark Kerr and Emily as his wife Dawn Staples. “We’re going to do a film called ‘The Smashing Machine,’” she told Howard, confirming the rumor she’d been tapped to star in the Benny Safdie-directed biopic. “[The Rock] is gonna play one of these MMA-UFC dudes … It’s really good.”

Surviving a Scary ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ Stunt

Despite embracing a slew of action-heavy roles in recent years, Emily told Howard the scariest stunt she ever endured was on the set of the family friendly Disney sequel “Mary Poppins Returns.” As fans no doubt remember, her titular character at one point descends from the clouds with her umbrella.

“It was described in the script like she starts in the clouds … and I really started in the clouds,” Emily recalled. “I thought I was okay with heights until they started winching me up there … and suddenly you’re at 65 feet in the air — and it doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s a lot — it’s fucking scary.”

“I thought I was going to pee my pants, I was so scared,” Blunt continued. “If I looked down, [co-star] Lin-Manuel [Miranda] was so tiny, which was scary. If I looked straight out, I was taller than the trees. So, I just waited for ‘action,’ and I was hanging, staring up, because then I had no point of reference.”

The film and its high-flying stunt were ultimately a success, but Emily told Howard she could only manage three takes. “I was like, ‘That’s it. I’m done … I will not go up there again,’” she concluded with a laugh.

Origin Story

Looking back at the origins of her incredible film career, Emily revealed that even while performing in high school plays she never dreamt of being professional actress. “I was going to go to university and be a translator for the U.N.,” she said.

“How many languages do you know?” Howard asked.

“I don’t,” Emily laughed, explaining she’d only studied Spanish in high school. “My plan was to go spend like a year in South America and become fluent in Spanish,” she continued. “I was going to be the best translator ever.”

So, how did she become a movie star instead?

It started with her drama teacher offering her an unusual opportunity. “I would do school plays, and the head of drama said, ‘Do you want to earn some money? Let’s go to the Edinburgh theater festival,’” Emily recalled. “It was this crazy play. It was a rock opera. It was bizarre,” she continued, explaining her drama teacher was the lead in that play. “It was just all shades of wrong, really — when you think about it.”

After seeing Emily perform at the festival, the drama teacher’s U.K. agent offered to represent her. “[He] said, ‘Is this something you want to do?’ And I said, ‘Oh, I hadn’t really thought about it as a career,” Emily told Howard.

‘All Too Well’ (Barbenheimer Version)

“The Fall Guy” is chock-full of action, suspense, romance, and comedy—not to mention an unforgettable scene where Blunt’s co-star Gosling is enjoying a good car cry to Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well.” The moment was so magical, Blunt parodied the song when Gosling guest hosted “SNL.”

In real life, Emily and her daughters are huge “Swifties.” When she got a chance to introduce Taylor to them, she told Howard the superstar recording artist couldn’t have been any sweeter. “She was so nice to my kids,” Blunt said. “My oldest kid had just cut all of her hair off — this very short haircut that she was very self-conscious about — and Taylor Swift goes, ‘God, look at you—just like this ‘60s, Beatnik, cool kid. I love your style.’”

“I thought my child was going to faint,” Blunt continued. “It was the best thing anyone has done for my child.

“That’s so sweet,” Howard marveled. “Don’t you love when someone is nice to your kid?”

“Yes, it changes everything,” Blunt agreed. “It makes me melt.”

Despite having two famous parents, Emily said her kids were down to Earth. “They’re very level,” she told Howard. “I think they’ve been around a lot of people in this job, and I think they’re relieved often to meet children of people in this job because it’s like a secret language of understanding how weird it is that your mom is known, you know?”

“The Fall Guy” opens May 3 in theaters.