Keanu Reeves has proven he can take on a variety of roles. From drama to comedy, the actor is known for his versatility. Rising to superstar status through the action genre in hits like Speed and the John Wick franchise, Reeves doesn’t shy away from the physical demands of a film.
The Matrix star credited a movie from earlier in his career that truly made an impact in his everyday living.
Keanu Reeves starred with Patrick Swayze in ‘Point Break’
Reeves played undercover FBI agent Johnny Utah who infiltrates a group of thieving surfers in the 1991 action flick Point Break. The gang is led by Bohdi (Patrick Swayze), who thrives on thrill-seeking encounters including skydiving and bank robberies. Kathryn Bigelow directed the film.
“Kathryn pushed everyone on the picture,” Reeves recalled in 2017, according to Movieweb. “She wanted the audience there. … She wanted people surfing, driving, flipping and running, and she really pushed the cinematographer and the crew all the time, like, ‘Let’s go.'”
The Speed star raved about his co-star, revealing that Swayze developed a penchant for skydiving.
“It’s amazing and it’s always lovely to see Patrick Swayze, and he was really cool,” Reeves remarked. “He had such a great support, being such an experienced action actor… he was really like, ‘Come on, Reeves. Let’s go!’ I mean, he was jumping out of airplanes… He ended up getting all of the guys who were part of the team… they were jumping out of airplanes. Eventually, the film company gave them a cease and desist order, because Swayze had over 30 jumps, while he’s making the movie.”
‘Point Break’ made an impact on audiences and Keanu Reeves
While the film was considered far-fetched in plot, Point Break gained a cult following since its release 30 years ago. Reeves commented on how the movie inspired audiences to physically challenge themselves.
“All of the time, I run into people who are like, ‘Point Break!'” Reeves explained. “And I’m like, ‘Yeah, it’s great, you know.’ They’re like, ‘Yeah yeah yeah, but that’s not what I meant.’ And I’m like, ‘Well, OK, but what do you mean?’ ‘I started jumping out of airplanes cause of Point Break. I started surfing because of Point Break.’ You know, it really changed people’s lives, just like it did mine.”
Reeves described the film’s impact on his life, where he became more committed to wellness thanks to the movie’s physical focus.
“It was pulpy, it had a real energy,” The Matrix star remarked to Men’s Journal. “It was life-changing for me. It introduced me to fitness and training.”
Keanu Reeves does more ‘action’ than ‘stunts’
Dedicated to a consistent workout regimen since Point Break, Reeves is now a steady presence in the action genre. He prefers to do his own physical scenes, but does not credit himself for stunt work.
“There’s an incredible stuntman who doubles John Wick,” the actor said. “They hit him with a car. He’s standing there, and they hit him—that’s a stunt. Me? I’ll shoot some guns, flip some people—and that’s action. So, yeah, I do as much action as I possibly can, because I love it—and I love the opportunity to bring the audience along.”
Though he sometimes has to pass a segment to a double for safety reasons, Reeves strives to do as many scenes on his own.
“I want to be able to do everything,” he shared. “Since The Matrix, I’ve used this term, ‘superperfect.’ As in, ‘Can we get it superperfect?’… That’s part of what makes [a great action film] a pressure cooker. It’s the intensity of just trying to do the best you can in the circumstances that you have.”