Hit Man's Ending, Explained by Adria Arjona: “I Think at Their Core, They're Good People”

But those are alligator tears, for sure.

One of my favorite line-reads in the movie—which got such a huge pop in my audience— is when you shout, “Who the fuck is Gary?” How many takes before you nailed it?

In rehearsal, when it came out, I’m like, “Who the fuck is Gary?” —[Arjona replicates the sound of the line perfectly.] — Glen and Rick started dying laughing. And I was like, ‘But it’s true you guys, like, she wouldn’t know who the fuck Gary is.’ And Rick is like, ‘We’re keeping that. We need to keep that.’ On the day, I just really tried to recreate how I said it in rehearsal, because it worked.

Rick’s approach to either comedy or acting [is that] if it works in rehearsal, it’s because we’re listening to it for the first time, but if we keep at it, the audience are going to be listening to it at the same time. So it’s bullshit that the more you do it, the magic is lost.

Is it personally cathartic as an actor to play one of those big argument scenes?

Yeah, I think so, and I think it’s a constant match of energy that me and Glen were going at ourselves, because [the characters] are in different places. But we really needed to lock that scene in, in order for the phone scene to work later, and then for the last scene to work.

It needed to feel like a breakup, so the phone scene felt like makeup sex, or they’re falling in love with each other again, and the last scene is the marriage proposal. That was the breakdown of those scenes: the breakup, the makeup, and the engagement.

After bumping into the couple on an ice cream date a few nights prior, Gary’s rival colleague Jasper, another undercover cop with a chip on his shoulder, catches onto Gary and Madison’s affair.

With Madison now at the top of the suspect pile, Jasper sets a trap in the form of a rigged sting operation: Gary will visit Madison as Ron in the guise of a concerned check-in, but in reality, he’ll wear a wire to wring out a confession… likely incriminating himself in the process. Thinking on his feet, Gary uses his phone to clue Madison in on what’s really going on, and the two put on the radio performance of their lives.

Tell me about rehearsing that scene.

Oh man. There isn’t a scene that we talked about more. It was one of those scenes that we couldn’t crack, and it was frustrating at times. Because of the way Rick works, sort of like an athlete, we just never gave up on it.

We started with note cards; the note cards didn’t work because the paper would make too much noise, and him writing would make too much noise, and they could hear that. We ended up at the phone scene, where Gary would write all of the questions before he walked in through the door, and that didn’t feel organic, because how would they know what the people in the van were gonna ask? And then we went in on him silencing the phone, and him typing as it went.

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