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Hit Man: The Unbelievable True Story Behind ‘Hit Man’ On Netflix—Who Was Gar...

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Published Time: 07.06.2024 - 20:15:02 Modified Time: 07.06.2024 - 20:15:02

The director continued, “But on a plot level, it’s just a guy who gets in a little too deep. His passions lead him in a direction where he’s deceiving someone he’s in love with, and being someone else. They have to deal with those repercussions.” Hit Man



The real Gary Johnson, the man who inspired Hit Man on Netflix, was an actual college professor who was a fake hitman working for the city’s police. Johnson was the focus of a 2001 Texas Monthly story that detailed how he became “the most sought-after professional killer in Houston” whose undercover investigations led “to more than sixty arrests.”

“He’s the perfect chameleon,” prominent Houston lawyer Michael Hinton told Texas Monthly. “Gary is a truly great performer who can turn into whatever he needs to be in whatever situation he finds himself. He never gets flustered, and he never says the wrong thing. He’s somehow able to persuade who are rich and not so rich, successful and not so successful, that he’s the real thing. He fools them every time.”

Hollandsworth described Johnson as “one of the greatest actors of his generation, so talented that he can perform on any stage and with any kind of script.”

Although Hit Man takes Johnson’s name and the general premise of his unique story of working undercover as a fake contract killer, some parts of the Netflix film are entirely fictional. For example, Linklater said that “the real Gary did slight disguises, but not to the extent that we see in the film.” Instead, Glen “pushed all of that to the max.”


Hit Man. (L-R) Glen Powell as Gary Johnson and Adria Arjona as Madison in Hit Man. Cr. Brian


The real Johnson also helped an abuse victim who was being mistreated by her boyfriend, but there is no evidence that he was romantically involved with her as the film portrays. However, Johnson, like his on-screen character, also struggled with his love life; the Texas Monthly piece mentions that he was married three times and was described as “a loner” by his second wife.

“He’ll show up at parties and have a good time, and he’s always friendly, but he likes being alone, being quiet,” his second wife told Hollandsworth. “It’s still amazing to me that he can turn on this other personality that makes think he is a vicious killer.”

Johnson passed away in 2022.

Hit Man is streaming on Netflix. Watch the official trailer below.

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