‘Point Break' Star Luke Bracey on Filling Keanu's Shoes and Being in a Surfing Squad with Laird Hamilton
By Lorna Soonhee Umphrey | January 4, 2016 |
Luke Bracey may not have a death wish, but the jam-packed action stunts in the new remake of Point Break seem to say otherwise. The adrenaline-fueling film stars Bracey as a modern-day version of FBI agent Johnny Utah, a role filled by Keanu Reeves in the original 1991 movie.
Bracey who grew up surfing on the northern beaches of Sydney, was a huge fan of the original film as a teen. “I feel really lucky,” he says. “I still can’t believe I’m Johnny Utah."
Point Break has about every extreme sport imaginable—from wingsuit flying and rock climbing to motorcycling, snowboarding, and surfing, the latter of which enabled Bracey to work closely with legendary surfers Laird Hamilton, Laurie Towner, Dylan Longbottom, and Brian Keaulana. Additionally, the actor filmed with the world’s top extreme athletes, who would eventually take over his stunts when it became too dangerous for him. So how far was he willing to push his own limits? “I wanted to do everything I could until the pros took over or [until] the insurance company dragged me out of there,” laughs Bracey. “Obviously the way we made this movie, we made it so we could get the best people in these sports to do it, and so it could look 100 percent legit and real.”
The actor—who has starred in other action movies like G.I. Joe: Retaliation and The November Man, and will next be seen in the WWII drama Hacksaw Ridge directed by Mel Gibson—says the actual physicality of production was the toughest component when it came to preparing for this particular role. “I just had to train so I could survive the six months of filming in ten different countries,” he explains. “It was such an exhausting shoot, but it was amazing."
Safety was always a high priority as the cameras rolled, says Bracey, but there was one rock-climbing scene at Angel Falls in Venezuela where he may have overstepped his comfort zone. “It was everything in my head telling me not to do it and just that little bit of my brain going, ‘You’re Johnny Utah, man. Get over the edge.’”