Aussie actor Luke Bracey was only a kid when the movie GoldenEye came out, and grew up wide-eyed at exploits of Pierce Brosnan’s version of suave secret agent James Bond.
Now, almost 20 years later, he has 007 in his sights. And in his phone.
Bracey plays opposite Brosnan in The November Man, a thriller directed by Roger Donaldson (No Way Out), hitting theatres Wednesday. “I’ve got James Bond’s number in my phone now,” said a tickled Bracey, on the phone from his current film shoot in Italy.
Based on the late Bill Granger’s series of political thrillers, The November Man sees retired CIA agent Peter Devereaux (Brosnan) lured out of retirement to protect a valuable witness, played by Quantum of Solace’s Olga Kurylenko. But when Devereaux threatens to expose a government cover-up, he becomes the target of his friend and protege, CIA agent David Mason (Bracey.)
“He is the coolest man I think I’ve ever met,” Bracey, 25, said of Brosnan. As for Brosnan’s Bond days, “It’s one of those things where you don’t want to say too much, because it’s the elephant in the room.” But the two actors bonded – no pun intended – over an intense shoot filled with gunplay, fistfights and explosions.
“I was very new to all that stuff. It takes it out of you,” Bracey said of the film’s action. He’d sometimes come off a day of shoots with various aches and pains, seeking advice from his physiotherapist sister. “That’s one of the benefits of having a sister in that profession. Also, another one of my sisters is a veterinarian. She’ll probably treat me like a racehorse. Off to the glue factory.”
Although Bracey is relatively unknown outside of his native Australia, where he starred on the popular soap opera Home and Away, The November Man could be his first in a series of big breaks. He’ll also be seen in the upcoming Nicholas Sparks romance The Best of Me, and then as Johnny Utah in next year’s remake of Point Break, which he’s currently shooting.
A Point Break remake? In the words of one Keanu Reeves: whoa.
“I watched the original a thousand times,” said Bracey. “I know every quote from the film. I consider myself the biggest fan.”
Bracey plays “EFF! BEE! EYE!” agent Utah opposite Edgar Ramirez (Wrath of the Titans) as Bodhi, the role made famous by the late Patrick Swayze. It will involve a young FBI agent infiltrating a crime ring of extreme sports enthusiasts, with elements of global ecoterrorism and corporate sabotage.
“There’s definitely an homage or two, but we’re not doing a tribute act,” Bracey said. “I think there are good quotable lines that will come out of this movie. Hopefully I’ll be walking down the street and someone will shout out lines at me from this Point Break.”
That’s all well and good, but will there be a scene – THE scene – where Bracey’s Utah is taking aim at Bodhi, but then fires his gun in the air and roars in frustration?
“You’ll have to wait until next August!”