Keanu Reeves cut 1 line from ‘Point Break’ writer says he’s a great actor

Keanu Reeves has finally earned respect. He is a beloved human being and a popular star of movies like John Wick, The Matrix and Bill and Ted. Remember, in the 90s, critics and moviegoers laughed at him. Breaking point was the subject of some of that ridicule, although Reeves came back with The rapidity three years later. Breaking point Writer W. Peter Iliff knew Reeves was a great actor when he cut one of his scripted lines.

Keanu Reeves | Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Lionsgate

Iliff was the guest of the Separate script podcast on November 16, 2021. Iliff said Reeves made the movie even better by cutting one of Iliff’s scripted lines.

Less was more for Keanu Reeves in ‘Point Break’

In Breaking point, Reeves plays Johnny Utah, an FBI agent who goes undercover as a surfer to find a gang of bank robbers. Utah is a total beginner at first. Even Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) makes fun of him until he learns he’s a former college football star.

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“I will say Keanu did something brilliant with his acting in the movie, which is to say he didn’t say anything often enough,” Iliff said on Separate script. “An example, when Swayze says, ‘Oh, that’s a fucking big painting’ or whatever, ‘What, is your friend from Kansas?’ Utah just looks at it. It’s powerful.

The silence was so good that the writer forgot the original line

The moment is movie history now. 30 years later Iliff can’t even remember what he originally wrote to say in Utah Breaking point.

“I’ve seen that with a lot of good actors because you have to write a line to them,” Iliff said. “I forget what the line was but he says ‘No, I don’t need a line.’ He just watches.

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Reeves is in good company with big action movie stars. A year later, Iliff was working on patriot games and Harrison Ford did the same.

I had this experience with Harrison Ford on patriot games where they take him to the CIA bunker where they go to monitor satellites while special forces destroy a Libyan terrorist camp. Once it’s done, James Earl Jones pulls it out and says, “What do you think?” As a writer for a studio film, I have to write a page about what he thinks. Harrison Ford says, ‘No, just put the camera on me.’ He glances over and it’s superstar Harrison Ford and the look says it all.

W. Peter Iliff, Separate script11/16/21

In ‘Point Break’, Keanu Reeves already knew how to become a fan favorite

Breaking point, The rapidity, and The matrix everything worked. Finally, with the John Wick candor and public confirmation of his genuine kindness, the world recognized Reeves’ greatness. Iliff thought Reeves was ahead of the curve as a performer.

“It’s those kinds of lessons that are fun to learn,” Iliff said. “Now as a writer you pretty much have to write the line and shoot it and it becomes a cutting room choice. Keanu had learned that and I think that’s what draws a lot of his performance.

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