“The Fall Guy” stars Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling took the Academy Awards stage to honor some of cinema’s best stunts.

Article written by Devan Coggan, Entertainment Weekly, March 11, 2024

For years, Hollywood professionals and fans alike have called for the Oscars to add a stunts category, honoring the performers and stunt coordinators who execute some of film’s most jaw-dropping feats. Despite years of lobbying, the Academy Awards have yet to introduce a new category — but at Sunday’s ceremony, the Oscars took a moment to honor stunt performers, calling them the “unsung heroes” of cinema.

Emily Blunt and Ryan Gosling took the stage Sunday to introduce a video tribute celebrating the stunt community. (The pair star together in David Leitch’s upcoming action-comedy The Fall Guy, with Gosling playing a Hollywood stuntman himself.) The video montage celebrated more than 100 years of Hollywood stunts, from classic feats by Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, and Buster Keaton to modern scenes from films like John Wick, Mission: Impossible, The Matrix, and more.”The Academy’s history runs deep with the fearless work of the incredible artisans of the stunt community,” Gosling said in a narrated voiceover. “Every award season features their work in every genre — from Butch and Sundance to Black Panther, from the depths of space to the battlefields of earth and beyond. Stunt performers and the action they design continue to create some of the most memorable moments in the history of cinema. And they’ve been doing it from the start.”

Stunts have long been an underappreciated part of Hollywood history, and in recent years, more and more filmmakers have spoken out to ask the Oscars to recognize them publicly. Earlier this year, the Academy announced plans to add its first new category in more than 20 years, honoring casting directors but not stunts.

Other award shows already have similar categories recognizing stunts: The Emmys honor both Outstanding Stunt Coordination and Outstanding Stunt Performance for television, and the SAG Awards also give out trophies honoring stunt ensembles in both TV and film.

Just a few months ago, The Fall Guy director Leitch told EW that he’s among those pushing for the Oscars to establish a stunt category. (Leitch launched his career as a longtime stunt performer, and he’s described The Fall Guy as a “love letter” to the stunt community.)

“Maybe it’s always been in the DNA of the job,” Leitch said in December. “We are sort of the ninjas of the movie business. We create the magic but get none of the credit. Maybe that’s where it’s always going to be, but I hope not. I hope that our voices are heard and we start to get recognized.”