Is 'Break Point' A True Story? At The Very Least, Stars Jeremy Sisto & David Walton Have True Tennis Cred
The new tennis movie Break Point features Jeremy Sisto and David Walton as brothers who must overcome their personal barriers to try to qualify for the US Open Men's Doubles. Sisto plays Jimmy, an aging tennis pro who can't hold onto a partner (or go five seconds without saying something offensive), and Walton is his younger brother Darren, who stopped playing tennis a while ago and has now resigned himself to life as a substitute teacher. After managing to get dumped by yet another tennis partner, Jimmy appeals to Darren to join him for one last shot at victory by teaming up to qualify for the Open. Darren concedes despite their strained relationship, and the brothers embark on a training journey that brings up all kinds of muck they'd be trying to push down for years. But is Break Point based on a true story? It might remind you of some other tennis sibling couples, like the Williams sisters and the Bryan brothers, but are the Price sibs actually based on any of those pairs?
Although the Bryan brothers actually make an appearance in the film. the movie isn't a true story. It was actually written as a collaborative effort between Sisto and Community writer Gene Hong. And despite its connections to the real tennis world, it's not based on any particular tennis professionals, which might be a comfort once you see what Jimmy's pre-game ritual is with his tennis ball. That being said, one very real aspect of the film is the playing — both Sisto and Walton are skilled in the sport and did their own athletics for the film.
David Walton started playing tennis at the ripe age of three, and was told by a coach that if he concentrated hard enough on the sport he could become a nationally ranked junior. But an elbow injury as a pre-teen forced Walton to put down his racquet, and he didn't play again until he was 24. At this point, Walton told WeGotThisCovered.com, he moved to LA and discovered that "there were so many courts that I rekindled the love." The actor continued to describe his reunion with the sport, saying, "For the last ten years or so, I've played fairly regularly. I absolutely love it."
Walton's experience with the sport isn't surprising given that he looks like a pro with his playing in Break Point. Sisto looks at ease on the court as well, but the skills he demonstrates on-screen were actually the result of some intense training specifically for the film. The actor played casually with co-writer Gene Hong prior to the production, but as they created the project, he realized he would need to improve his playing to be believable in the role. He explained to Austin Monthly, "I had no idea about form or anything. So, when we started developing the movie, I spent so much money on instructors...I busted my butt for two and a half, three years."
Sisto's hard work definitely paid off; he and Walton are totally believable as athletes. So whether or not the narrative is based on any real events, the training and playing in Break Point is about as real as it gets.
Images: Broad Green Pictures (2)