“Hit Man” | Anatomy of a Scene

I'm Richard Linklater, director and co-writer of “Hit Man.” In this scene, Glen Powell, who plays undercover hitman Gary Johnson, is threatened by Jasper, played by Austin Amelio, the New Orleans cop he's working undercover with and who's on his trail. Gary was dating Madison, whose husband was found dead. We know Gary didn't do it, and the audience knows she did. But the police don't know. But Jasper has an inkling of what happened, and he's created this type of trap where Gary goes in and records their conversation, hoping to catch him there. “Great. Remember, audio only. I need to get a good recording.” “Got it.” So if it were a chess game, it'd be chess. It's not checkmate, but boy, you higher give you an excellent move. So he types some type of script into his phone that he has to confer with Madison on the fly they usually must wriggle out of since it's audio only. You must say all the appropriate words while he directs them, so to talk. “— Time. I'm under pressure because of your husband's death. You think one of us did it.” “Well, it wasn't me.” “Look, I know it was you. It's [MUTED]: obviously, and I don't blame you.” “I didn't kill him. Wait, wait, wait. Who accuses me of that? That's nonsense -[MUTED]:, and you of all people should know that I was incapable of doing that.” “OK, then who did it? What the hell happened?” It's an enormous ask for anyone to think that quickly and act in another way. And it's just about the climax of the movie when it comes to the intensity of what's at stake for them, what could occur to their relationship. And also, it's sort of a make-up scene. They cut the scene off right before when he discovered that she actually killed the guy. And he could have run away. But this can be — on the romantic side of the movie, that is sort of a make-up confession to one another. “– protect me, he pulls a gun out of nowhere and puts it in Ray's face.” “Find out more about the guy with the gun.” “Ray freaks out. He leaves. I run away. And that was the last time I saw him.” “So who is this guy who pulled the gun? What is his name?” “I don't know.” Although Glen and I worked on the script together, having Adria Arjona as Madison really took it to a brand new level. This movie doesn't work without her. And she was just our creative partner, and that scene is a very good example of that. The three of us worked on it a lot together. We just sat around a table, asked questions and refined it, rehearsed it, rehearsed it on location and eventually performed it. “I'm a grown woman. I'm single. And he wasn't random. He was a [MUTED]: good dancer.” “Well, I'm happy for you, because your mystery man is a suspect. I heard they're looking for him.” It was only a joy. We had plenty of fun. But it's, you recognize, it's an intense scene, and it was pretty intense. Pretty intense to shoot, too. “— got me. So you know what? If they find him, let me know.” “You know, when we first met at the Please You, your motive didn't seem to be financial.” This scene becomes a sort of performance inside a performance inside a performance, type of. And to ensure that it to work in any respect, he has to direct the scene. He's type of writing and directing it. She's in it. And once she understands what he's doing, she has to go together with it. So they're each playing their parts, but that definitely makes it a really multi-layered endeavor. And it's fun to see your hero, the guy you're invested in, find his way out of a very sticky, sticky situation that, I don't think any of us would have the option to get out of fast enough. But by some means he gets it done along with her. And, you recognize, at the identical time, the couple gets back together. So to me, that's a screwball comedy scene with really, really — I mean, when you don't make it, you're going to jail, you recognize? So the stakes couldn't be higher legally. But it's sort of the culmination of their very own relationship up to now. “Hey, I'm on your side. That's why I'm here. I'm trying to help you get through this, not because I'm a great guy or anything, but once the pressure's off you, it's off me. We can work our way out of this mess together.” “There's no such thing as together.” “I can dump the whole thing on somebody else.” But before I do this, you might have to inform me the reality so I can get this right.” “You know what, I'm done. I'm done.” The physicality of the scene is funny because actors never normally – their body movements and expressions usually match what you're saying. In this one, it's very different. You have to say everything right, but actually, like a game of charades, they're showing each other what they're doing and communicating on a physical, nonverbal level, while their verbal rhetoric has to be somewhat perfect. So it's a dance and it's just fun to see them figure it out as they go along. “Great.” “You know, when you see me in public, don't say hi. Nothing personal. I just must keep this clean.” “Fine by me.” [DOOR SLAMS]

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