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Film, Comic Books
Up-and-coming actor Luke Bracey has gotten himself a big break – as in Point Break.
Not only does the 24-year-old Australian actor co-star alongside one-time 007 Pierce Brosnan as he returns to the spy genre later this year for The November Man, he’s just embarked on one of the most action-packed assignments a rising young star could hope for: the now-iconic role of Johnny Utah in the remake of Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 cult classic.
Spinoff Online caught up with Bracey – who began his career in the Australian TV series Home and Away and played Cobra Commander in G.I. Joe: Retaliation – making the Hollywood red-carpet rounds just days before he was set to start shooting his role as the FBI agent who infiltrates a cadre of thrill-seeking surfers/bank robbers (led in Alcon Entertainment’s remake by Edgar Ramirez). He revealed that the characters once brought to life by Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze are going to even greater extremes.
Luke Bracey: Yeah, I do, I do! I should have packed my bag already because I leave in a couple of days for Berlin and Point Break. It’s been a pretty busy couple of months, actually: I just got back from New Orleans filming The Best of Me, and I’ve had three or four weeks of preparation here [in Los Angeles] for Point Break, and then I go another two or three weeks of rehearsal. And then we’re stuck into it for five months, all around the world. I’m beside myself.
What kind of homework did you do for your Point Break role, Johnny Utah?
A lot of homework, actually. I kind of haven’t stopped. I’ve been learning some rock climbing. I’ve been speaking to people like the world’s best wingsuiter, Jeb Corliss. I’ve been doing a lot of boarding, watching a lot of extreme-sports videos and immersing myself in that culture, because that’s where Johnny Utah comes from. He comes from an extreme-sports background. And also, I’ve been mastering the dialect I’m going to use, the accent I’m going to use – and really, the past four weeks, I get up, eat, prepare, eat, prepare, eat, go to the gym, sleep. That’s kind of been it, but I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been an intense process and we’ve got five months to make it worth something.
With what you’re doing in the film, how do you want to pay homage to the original, and how do you want to make it your own?
There was a core idea of the movie of finding life in the original, and really searching for what it is that makes you tick, and that’s what we’re really bringing into this as well. We’re really heightening this idea of “Where do you belong? What part of you do you take with you for the rest of your life?” And also, in the end, we’re really contextualizing it. We’re taking it out of just Venice and California, and we’re taking it around the world. We’re taking it out of just banks and making it these transnational corporations, so the effect that this has is not just on customers of a bank in California, but people all around the world. So yeah, we’re trying to honor it has much as possible but give it the respect it deserves by making a new one and not try to copy it. I’m really excited for it. I think it’s going to be a great film.
What’s your favorite part of the original Point Break?
Oh, God – there’s this one bit – and I love it when they go for a stealth mission – when they go surfing at nighttime and they go, “Utah, see you at the bottom!” And I love that line! But there’s so many from it – I honestly didn’t realize how much I quoted in my life until I got this movie. And I’ve had to really check myself because I’m quoting Point Break, and people will think I’m just doing it because I’m in the movie – but it’s honestly something that I’ve always done! So, yeah, it was a bit strange to be a part of that film, and be a part of this film now. I can’t wait.
Tell me about working with Pierce Brosnan in The November Man.
Oh, Pierce was fantastic.
A Bond, and thus one of the greatest action heroes of all time.
Oh, absolutely. My point. Not only did I watch him as Bond, but I chose him every time I played Nintendo 64 Goldeneye.
Did you tell him that?
Yeah, of course! And then, to suddenly be one day sitting at a table having dinner with him and becoming his very, very good mate was … yeah, it was kind of crazy! I can’t believe I was lucky enough to have that. I actually saw him today. We did a bit a press for an event today, and it was great to see him again – and yeah, he’s one of the nicest people I think I’ve met and had the pleasure of working with, and with so much to teach and so much to kind of ooze and for me to absorb in terms of the craft and the professionalism that he brings to it. It was an absolute thrill.