Point Break is a 1991 American action movie directed by Kathryn Bigelow, starring Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Lori Petty and Gary Busey. The title refers to the surfing term “point break,” where a wave breaks as it hits a point of land jutting out from the coastline. Take a look below for 30 more interesting and fascinating facts about Point Break.
1. Keanu Reeves stars as rookie FBI agent Johnny Utah, who’s investigating a string of bank robberies possibly being committed by surfers. Johnny goes undercover to infiltrate the surfing community and develops a complex friendship with Bodhi, the charismatic leader of a gang of surfers.
2. The movie was a box office success upon its release, with an $83.5 million gross and a budget of $24 million.
3. Patrick Swayze was an accomplished skydiver, and took part in the big skydiving scene. He made 55 jumps in total.
4. Keanu Reeves, who learned to surf for his role, still surfs as a hobby to this day.
5. Johnny Utah became a FBI Agent after a knee injury ended his football career. In real life, Keanu Reeves was once an aspiring hockey player who suffered a knee injury, and went on to become an actor.
6. For many of the surfing scenes, Patrick Swayze refused to use a stunt double, as he never had one for fight scenes or car chases.
7. Keanu Reeves observed real FBI Agents in Los Angeles to study for the role. He also practiced with UCLA quarterback coaches, to help with the football scene.
8. Tyler explains to Johnny Utah that Patrick Swayze’s character is named Bodhi, the Bodhisattva. Bodhisattva is a term in the Buddhist religion meaning an enlightened being who, out of compassion, forgoes nirvana in order to save others. Bodhi means “wakefulness.”
9. Two months before filming, Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze and Lori Petty trained with former world class professional surfer Dennis Jarvis on Kauau, Hawaii. Jarvis remembers, “Patrick said he’d been on a board a couple of times, Keanu definitely had not surfed before, and Lori had never been in the ocean in her life.”
10. The beach spot, where the football game is played at the beginning of the movie, is the same spot used for the soccer game in The Karate Kid.
11. The skinny, long-haired guy, named Tone, in Warchild and Bunker’s gang was Anthony Kiedis, lead singer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
12. According to Gary Busey, Patrick Swayze was so crazy about skydiving, that he actually badgered him until he gave in, and agreed to go with him after filming.
13. Officially uncredited, because of an unresolved issue with the Writers Guild of America, James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow re-wrote the final script together.
14. Patrick Swayze cracked four ribs while filming the surfing scenes.
15. Matthew Broderick was originally offered the role of Johnny Utah. Others who auditioned were Johnny Depp and Charlie Sheen.
16. Patrick Swayze isn’t the one wearing the Reagan mask during the foot chase sequence. Instead, his stunt double, Scott Wilder, performed the scene because Swayze was in Europe doing press for Ghost.
17. Patrick Swayze felt that Bodhi was a lot like him, and that they both shared, “that wild man edge.”
18. Val Kilmer auditioned for the role of Johnny Utah.
19. Patrick Swayze originally auditioned for the part of Johnny Utah before eventually landing the role of Bodhi.
20. Co-Producer Rick King first came up with the idea for the movie, while lounging on the beach. He had been given an L.A. Weekly article, about Los Angeles being the robbery capital of America, and dreamed up a movie about an FBI Agent infiltrating a surf gang that robs banks to fuel their fun.
21. The youngest of the gang of surfers in the movie is known by the nickname “Grommet.” In surfer slang, a grommet is a young kid or an inexperienced surfer.
22. The girl seen dancing, after the guy shakes his tongue at the camera, when Utah enters Bodhi’s house party, is the same dancer in Billy Idol’s “Cradle of Love” music video.
23. To get close-ups of the actors during the skydiving sequences, a crane rig with a telescoping arm was built for each actor. The rigs enabled the cast to say their lines while the camera shot them from below to achieve the sense of floating while skydiving.
24. Willem Dafoe turned down the role of Johnny Utah.
25. 20th Century Fox had made plans for a sequel to the movie to be released in the summer of 1993. In fact, a script had been written and was in pre-production. Despite the movie grossing almost $90 million worldwide, the studio decided to scrap the project.
26. The Spanish phrase, “Vaya con Dios,” spoken by Johnny to Bodhi at the end of the movie, in English translates to, “Go with God.”
27. Keanu Reeves described his character as a, “total control freak, and the ocean beats him up and challenges him. After a while, everything becomes a game. He becomes as amoral as any criminal. He loses the difference between right and wrong.”
28. Michael Biehn revealed in an interview that there were briefly talks of him co-starring as Bodhi, but the plans fell through.
29. The gas station man who was soaked with gasoline by Bodhi, was stuntman Jeff Imada.
30. To get a sense of frenetic energy for the foot chase scene, Kathryn Bigelow and her crew shot the sequence with what they dubbed the “pogo-cam,” which was a rig that mounted a gyro-stabilized camera on a body-length pole that could be led by the cameraman shooting the actors in front or behind him.