The Fall Guy: Is Colt Seavers Based on a Real Stuntman?

With a delightful mix of over-the-top action and sharp one-liners to keep you chuckling, David Leitch’s action comedy ‘The Fall Guy’ plays like a colorful toy you can’t get enough of. The protagonist, a seasoned stuntman named Colt Seavers, is a unique blend of charisma, good looks, and a skilled arsenal of moves. The combination forms a bona fide action lead who is cool as hell. Colt is a character who represents countless stuntmen who put their lives on the line without fame and recognition embracing them. These artists include none other than Leitch, who made a name for himself as a stunt double. However, it doesn’t mean that Colt has a particular real-life counterpart!

The Roots of Colt Seavers

Colt Seavers is a fictional character created by Glen A. Larson for his action-adventure series ‘The Fall Guy,’ which aired on ABC between 1981 and 1986. Colt was conceived as a man who seems unfazed by any challenge put in front of him. Always quick to the sword and quick with his words, his allure lies in meeting everything head-on despite seeming reluctant from time to time. While director David Leitch and his screenwriter, Drew Pearce, didn’t copy the Colt from the ABC show entirely, they still kept relevant elements of the protagonist intact. The bones of a similar main man emerge when digging into the show, in which the fictional character made his first appearance.

In the original series, Colt Seavers is a stuntman who works as a bounty hunter by night. Ryan Gosling’s character is not a bounty hunter, but he gets entangled in a mystery of similar nature. Both depictions share the combination of an uber-cool stuntman who’s embroiled in the world of law enforcement and dubious machinations. The storyline of Leitch’s version of Colt was formed with a clever fusion of the light and poppy tone of the movie world and the dark underbelly of what lies under its surface.

There are other similarities between the film and show versions of Colt. The GMC Sierra he is seen driving around in the movie is the same one Lee Majors’ character drives in the show, albeit an older model. A few points of reference like this are established in the film to keep the character consistent across different adaptations. Even certain stunts, like the “jumping over barriers with his truck” one, are recreations of Colt’s most repeated stunts in the show. There are a whole slew of stunts littering the show’s episodes, but not all of them make it in the movie.

Adapting Colt from his television roots to the big screen was a matter of pride for David Leitch, whose past as a stuntman gave him a unique vantage point. “It is one of those TV shows from my generation of stunt performers that really lit our fuse and [made a lot of us] come to Hollywood with hopes of being Colt,” Leitch told Vanity Fair. The crime-fighting, death-defying, action stuntman was a huge influence on several stuntmen like Leitch who grew up idolizing the character. Rather than being based on a real-life figure, Colt is a character who inspired a whole generation of actual stuntmen.

In an interview, Leitch revealed the joy he felt while bringing Colt to life. “It’s been a real honor to actually celebrate the stunt community, and it’s also been a real pleasure to direct from a place of true knowledge of the world. […] I know what it’s like to be a stuntman and I know what it’s like to live in the Hollywood world. […] This is our world, and we’re bringing it to life for people to see and enjoy, and it’s from authenticity, and that’s really fun,” the filmmaker told Collider.

Leitch’s remarks about authenticity make it clear that his experiences as a stuntman did influence the creation of his version of Colt. Even though the filmmaker hasn’t solved crimes and incriminated actors in real life, the soul of Colt can be traced back to the commendable career of Leitch as a stuntman who rose to heights. As a former stuntman, Leitch called the lot the only group within the business who don’t fake their reactions – they have to be authentic in every way to make the audience believe – reminding us of Colt’s dedication and commitment. Colt is not based on a real stuntman, but in ‘The Fall Guy,’ he represents all of them.

Read more: The Fall Guy: Where is Ryan Gosling Movie Filmed?