THE BIG PICTURE
In the realm of hitmen, we often conjure images of the enigmatic Agent 47, the follicly challenged world-traveling assassin from the famed Hitman game franchise, complete with his iconic barcode. But this year’s Toronto International Film Festival introduced us to a refreshing take on the hitman narrative. Richard Linklater’s darkly comedic masterpiece, “Hit Man,” shifts the spotlight to Glen Powell, who portrays Gary Johnson, a police officer deeply submerged in the undercover world of contract killers.
However, the common thread between Gary and Agent 47 lies not in their occupation but in their penchant for intricate disguises. At FilmSweep’s TIFF media studio at the Cinema Center at MARBL, Linklater delved into the myriad of peculiar costumes that Powell, known for his role in “Top Gun: Maverick,” adorns throughout the film’s runtime.
Powell’s transformation transcends mere changes of attire. He delves into the realm of tattoos, makeup, and more, constructing unique personas for Gary. Each appearance is meticulously tailored to suit the circumstances, morphing him from his mild-mannered guise as a philosophy professor into a colorful array of characters, including a redneck and a seductive lone-wolf killer, among others. Among these, Gary’s primary persona, the enigmatic lone wolf named Ron, takes center stage as he springs into action to rescue a woman from her abusive husband. Linklater, relishing the creative process, recounts the unforgettable reactions that accompanied Glen’s full costume reveals:
“[Laughs] Oh my god, making this movie was an absolute blast because we had so much fun crafting these looks. We had seen test runs, collected countless pictures, and Glen really went all out in portraying these diverse characters. Each one was a topic of discussion. While we were busy prepping the set, Glen would slip into character after getting out of the van or wherever we were. And let me tell you, every time, the entire crew, all of us standing there, would just collectively go [gasps].”
Linklater and the Crew Couldn’t Contain Their Laughter at One of Powell’s Most Outlandish Characters
Of all the looks Linklater encountered during the production, one stood out as his personal favorite, serving as an unforgettable highlight for the entire shoot. He likened Glen’s appearance to that of an extraterrestrial being, as if he had been abducted from the set and replaced with a creature from another world:
“But the absolute best moment was when Glen emerged as the peculiar orange-haired guy with freckles. That was the grand finale, saved for the last day of shooting because it was just so outrageously bizarre. When Glen stepped out of that van, I’ll never forget the sight. The entire crew, we all just went, ‘What in the world has happened here? Who has descended upon our movie set? Is this a creature from another planet?’ It was utterly hilarious. Absolutely hilarious.”
Intriguingly, Linklater and Powell teamed up not only in front of the camera but also behind it as co-writers for “Hit Man.” This film marks their fourth collaboration, but it’s the first time they’ve ventured into the realm of co-authoring a project. Alongside Powell’s stellar performance, the movie features a talented cast including Adria Arjona, Retta, Austin Amelio, and Molly Bernard.
While the release date for “Hit Man” remains a mystery for now, be sure to check out our comprehensive interview with Richard Linklater below and stay tuned to FilmSweep for more exclusive coverage from TIFF 2023.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Costume Transformations
Q: What is the movie “Hit Man” about?
A: “Hit Man” is a film directed by Richard Linklater that takes a unique twist on the hitman genre. It follows the story of Gary Johnson, played by Glen Powell, a police officer who goes undercover as a highly sought-after hitman. The movie explores his adventures and challenges in this dangerous role.
Q: How does Glen Powell’s character, Gary, differ from the typical image of a hitman?
A: Unlike the stereotypical portrayal of hitmen as stoic and unchanging, Gary Johnson is a character who thrives on transformation. He not only changes his wardrobe but also incorporates tattoos, makeup, and various disguises to create distinct personas for each assignment. This sets him apart from the conventional image of a hitman.
Q: What was the creative collaboration like between Richard Linklater and Glen Powell on the film?
A: Richard Linklater and Glen Powell had a fantastic creative collaboration on “Hit Man.” They worked closely to craft unique looks for Gary’s different personas. Linklater describes the process as fun and exciting. They discussed and prepared each character meticulously, and the entire crew was amazed by Glen’s transformations during the shoot.
Q: Can you elaborate on some of the personas that Glen Powell’s character, Gary, adopts in the film?
A: Gary’s personas in the film vary widely to suit his targets. One of his primary personas is the lone wolf named Ron, who takes action to help a woman escape her abusive husband. However, his transformations go far beyond this, including becoming a redneck and a seductive lone-wolf killer. The diversity of these personas adds depth and intrigue to the character.
Q: What was the reaction of the crew to Glen Powell’s most outlandish character in the film?
A: The crew couldn’t contain their laughter when Glen Powell unveiled his most eccentric character near the end of the shoot. Described as an orange-haired guy with freckles, this character left such a bizarre impression that it left the entire crew in stitches. They were genuinely surprised and amused by this unexpected transformation.
Q: Is “Hit Man” a true story, and what is its connection to Skip Hollandsworth?
A: “Hit Man” is a somewhat true story based on an article written by Skip Hollandsworth. Richard Linklater and Glen Powell co-wrote the film, marking their fourth collaboration. While it draws inspiration from real events, it incorporates elements of humor and creativity to deliver a unique narrative.
Q: Who are some of the other cast members in “Hit Man”?
A: In addition to Glen Powell, “Hit Man” features a talented cast including Adria Arjona, Retta, Austin Amelio, and Molly Bernard. These actors contribute to the film’s overall appeal and storytelling.
Q: Is there a release date announced for “Hit Man”?
A: As of now, there is no specific release date available for “Hit Man.” Fans and movie enthusiasts will need to stay tuned for further updates and announcements regarding its release.