Earlier this year, fans of ‘90s movies were filled with a mixture of excitement and nervousness at the prospect of cult classic Point Break being remade. With the American release scheduled for December 25th, one of the movie’s stars, Luke Bracey, spoke exclusively to us about his experiences on set.

The 26 year old star was only two when the original was released, but he reassured fans that he was “very familiar” with the Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze, having watched it plenty of times as a teenager.

“It’s a movie I grew up with in Australia. I also grew up surfing on the beaches of Sydney, and it’s kind of handed to you with your first surfboard if you’re born in the ‘90s [laughs]. Your first surfboard and a copy of Point Break and it goes from there! So if you get an e-mail saying there’s a potential you could be Johnny Utah [Keanu Reeves’ character in the original], your eyes go wide and you get really nervous.”

Point BreakLuke Bracey with his 'Point Break' co-star Teresa Palmer at the US premiere in December 2015

Speaking about his casting, Bracey said that it was all quite unexpected but a huge pleasure. “You get the chance to meet the director, then you do it, and suddenly you’re Johnny Utah, and you’re like ‘My God, this is real!’” This is a dream come true, something I never thought would happen in my life.”

Given the loyal and protective fanbase of the original, how difficult was it for Bracey to differentiate his character from Keanu’s portrayal the first time round? “I was quite lucky, because this is basically a re-imagining of the original.”

“We’ve got Utah and Bodhi [played by Edgar Ramirez], and we’ve got their heart, soul and ethos, what we love about the original, their lust for life and their need to go out and do it and get the most from it. It wasn’t too hard for me to differentiate from the original character, between Keanu’s and mine, because he’s a different guy, he comes from a different place. We get a little bit more insight into where he comes from and his reasoning behind getting into the FBI in this film. So it was laid out for me in a way.”

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Finally, what was it like preparing for the stunts? Bracey said that it was pretty challenging, as the cast was getting as physically involved in performing them as possible before the professional stuntmen had to step in. “I did everything up to the point where those guys [the stuntmen] took over and actually performed these crazy things, so [things like] towing behind the jetski on a surfboard until I let go of the rope. I was hanging above Angel Falls, you know, 3,000 feet above the earth, I was standing on the edges of cliffs and stuff, so everything until the pros had to take over, you know?”

“The preparation was six months of five and a half days of work a week, going to all sorts of different countries and different climates, different time zones! It was exhausting, working really hard for 14 hours a day, making sure you eat right and exercise. I couldn’t get sick, I couldn’t get injured, for practicality’s sake otherwise I just couldn’t have got to the end of the movie.”

Point Break opens in the United States on December 25th, alongside a number of hotly anticipated titles including Joy, Concussion, The Hateful Eight, The Big Short and Daddy’s Home. It gets a release in the UK on February 12th.

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Watch the trailer for Point Break here