He got his start as Leighton Meester‘s love interest in 2011’s Monte Carlo and broke out as the brooding lead in the 2014 Nicholas Sparks tearjerker The Best of Me. Now, Luke Bracey takes on the forces of nature in a remake of the 1991 cult classic, Point Break (out December 25). In the action-packed flick — filmed on four continents! — Bracey stars as an FBI agent, Johnny Utah (originally played by Keanu Reeves), who goes undercover to infiltrate a group of thrill-seeking bandits led by the elusive Bodhi (with Joy‘s Edgar Ramirez stepping into the late Patrick Swayze’s role). “The whole film was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” says the 26-year-old Australian. Bracey, who also stars in next year’s WWII drama Hacksaw Ridge with Andrew Garfield and Vince Vaughn, tells Us Weekly about his wild journey.
Us Weekly: The original Point Break is so beloved. How does the 2015 version compare?
Luke Bracey: The original is a favorite movie of mine. It’s something that I grew up with and watched so many times I really know the heart and soul of it. We wanted to build off their passion, their absolute Point Break attitude. For us, Point Break is all about the vibe and about pushing the boundaries. When I watched our movie, at the end, I went “yeah man, that’s Point Break.” That was a great feeling for me.
Us: Did you get to consult Keanu Reeves at all?
LB: I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him, but I hear he’s a lovely man!
Us: The film features an amazing group of extreme athletes as stuntmen. What was the most daring stunt you personally had to do?
LB: I got to hang off Angel Falls [in Venezuela] 3,000 feet in the air. That was something I will never forget. The butterflies in your stomach are pretty insane. Your head’s going, “What are you doing?!” And I’m standing there saying, “Turn the camera on in case I fall — at least it’ll be on camera!” It helps when you’re playing such a cool dude, a man with such a love of life, and zest. Because he wants to push himself, it really helped me push myself.
Us: Your costar Edgar Ramirez is actually from Venezuela. Did he play tour guide while filming?
LB: We were on a pretty tight schedule, but you could see in Edgar that it was pretty special for him to be able to bring a movie like this to his home country. He told us all the little tidbits about Angel Falls. It was special to share that experience with him. It’s an amazingly beautiful place and the people are wonderful.
Us: Johnny Utah is covered in tattoos. Were any of those real?
LB: I’ve only got one tattoo! The first time we put all of them on it maybe took around two hours. It was really interesting wearing them because I felt different. Some days I wouldn’t take them off. I’d be walking around in Berlin, and people were staring at me. I was like, “What’s going on? Oh, right I have tattoos all over me.” People thought I was pretty cool.
Us: What was the first thing you did after you wrapped?
LB: I went home to my parents’ place in Australia and got a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. I’d go for a surf, sit on the beach, read my newspaper, then do my jigsaw puzzle and maybe go to the gym. I really had to consciously wind down. Filming was so intense I literally took a week or so to slowly decompress and come down from the crazy altitude that was making this movie. My mom’s going to have a heart attack when she sees me on top of Angel Falls. Hopefully she won’t kill me!
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!