Directed by Richard Linklater and starring Glen Powell in the titular role, Hit Man is successfully entertaining cinephiles worldwide. Besides starring in the movie as Gary Johnson, a psychology professor-turned-fake hitman, Powell also co-wrote the script with Linklater.

A still from Hit Man (Credits: Netflix)
A still from Hit Man Source: Netflix

The movie also stars Good Omens actress Adria Arjona, The Walking Dead actor Austin Amelio, and Parks and Recreation star Retta. In a recent interview, Retta revealed that she had no idea she had landed the role she had auditioned for in the movie until Powell began discussing its development with her at a party of all places.

Retta Found Out About Her Casting in Hit Man in an Unconventional Way

Retta on The Kelly Clarkson Show | Source: YouTube
Retta on The Kelly Clarkson Show | Source: YouTube

Retta’s career in the entertainment industry began when she started performing stand-up comedy in North Carolina. She continued working as a comedian and even made guest appearances on some TV shows. She is mostly known for her role in the political satire sitcom Parks and Recreation and the crime comedy series Good Girls.

In a recent interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Retta discussed various things related to her newest movie Hit Man, in which she stars as Claudette, a police officer Glen Powell‘s Gary works for. She revealed that she does not read the entire script until she knows she has the job, and that her agents asked her to audition though it was a man’s role at the time.

Imagine learning about having landed a job from your co-worker at a party. Many might not relate, but Retta sure does. Speaking about how she learned about her having landed the role, she recounted the story to Clarkson, saying:

It took forever, by the way, to find out that I got the job it was months later I was at a party and Glen was there and Glen was talking and he was like ‘Oh it’s going to be so.. We were going to shoot in Austin, but now we’re going to New Orleans, but it’s going to be so great to shoot blah blah blah and I was like why is he talking to me like I have this job cuz nobody called me.

The actress further said as Powell kept talking about the movie, she texted her manager to ask if she had missed an email or any notice about landing the role. The agents, later, told her that Linklater wanted her for the role, but had to push the shoot to collect funds for it.

Did a True Story Inspire Richard Linklater to Make Hit Man?

Richard Linklater
Richard Linklater | Picture by LBJ Library | Source: Wikimedia Commons

As hilarious as this movie is, it is quite surprising that it is based on a true story with some facts altered to make it fun to watch. Linklater found the inspiration to make this movie after reading an eponymous 2001 article in the Texas Monthly magazine.

The article in the magazine focused on a man named Gary Johnson who was actually a college professor and became “the most sought-after professional killer in Houston” in the late 1980s and 1990s after moving there in 1981. He began working as an investigator for the district attorney’s office.

When the police learned a woman called a bail bondsman to hire a hitman for her husband’s murder, they enlisted Johnson as their hitman. This way, every time someone wanted to hire a hitman, the informant would introduce Johnson who would convince the seeker that he was, in fact, a hitman.

He would do all of this wearing wire and get the seeker to confess their intention of getting someone murdered and have the individual pay him. He helped the police in arresting more than fifty convicts. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2022.

Hit Man is available for streaming on Netflix.

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