Keanu Reeves Landing Iconic ‘Point Break’ Role Is All Thanks to One Person

by Madison Miller
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The 1991 action film “Point Break” had an all-around pretty amazing cast. Between Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Lori Petty, and Gary Busey, the film was off to a good start before even starting to shoot scenes.

In the movie, Reeves played Johnny Utah, an undercover FBI agent who is trying to identify a group of bank robbers. Along the way, he begins to develop an interesting and complex relationship with the group’s main leader. Reeves is specifically investigating a gang of surfers that he believes are responsible for the robbery.

The film has pretty solid reviews. It has a 7.3 on IMDb. It made $83.5 million during its theatrical run but has also managed to create a cult following over the years.

It’s a big film for Reeves, which he completely has Kathryn Bigelow to thank. She is also known for other movies like “Near Dark,” “Strange Days,” “The Hurt Locker,” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” She managed to turn “Point Blank” into a lot more than a man-centered action movie.

She also managed to get Keanu Reeves on board, which was a lot harder than she may have expected.

According to Slash Film, Ridley Scott was going to direct the movie at first. He had Matthew Broderick and Charlie Sheen projected to star in the movie instead. Bigelow took over, with her then-husband James Cameron at her side, and made some big changes. At the time, producers over at 20th Century Fox were considering their options. People like Johnny Depp and Val Kilmer were all brought up to play Johnny Utah. There’s no doubt they would have done an amazing job, but imagining someone other than Reeves in such an iconic role is hard.

At the time, Reeves wasn’t even well known. He was early on in his career and was really only known for his “Bill & Ted” series at the time. Certainly, he was no one’s first pick to play this FBI agent. Well, turns out Bigelow was keeping tabs on our favorite future “The Matrix” star.

“We had this meeting where the Fox executives were going, ‘Keanu Reeves in an action film? Based on what? ‘Bill & Ted’?’ They were being so insulting. But she insisted he could be an action star,” Cameron said to Premiere back in 2002 regarding the process of getting Reeves on board.

Bigelow was insistent. She became his coach of sorts in order to get him ready for the role. “She worked on his wardrobe, she showed him how to walk, she made him work out,” Cameron also recalled.

Reeves has a lot to be thankful for, partially due to Bigelow and her stubbornness. At the MTV Movie Awards, he won Most Desirable Male for his role in “Point Blank.” Pretty soon, the public was swooning and Reeves would begin a legendary action movie career. That includes films like “The Matrix,” “John Wick,” and “Speed.”

Reeves recognizes all that Bigelow did for him and is grateful. “Thank you again, Kathryn, because that changed my life. That’s where it’s collaborative. You need someone to put that out there,” Reeves said regarding Bigelow during a 2017 episode of the Nerdist podcast.

Outsider.com