"Gary Never Actually Killed Anyone" And18 More Real Life Facts About Glenn Powell's "Hit Man"

Glenn Powell's new movie Hit Man is a trip. Warning: Spoiler ahead!

He takes on a variety of different clients, whom he hopes will confess their murder-for-hire plans.

But once he meets an unhappily married woman named Madison, the trajectory of this gig changes significantly. She tries to hire him as a contract killer to take out her abusive husband, only for him to fall in love with her in the process. Then, he actually tries to help her take out her abusive husband.

What's even more shocking is that the movie is based on a real story.

Glen Powell and Richard Linklater pose together on the red carpet at the Netflix "Hit Man" event.

With that in mind, let's dive into some of the most interesting facts surrounding the movie.

1.Gary Johnson was a staff investigator for the Harris County district.

Though the movie took place in New Orleans, the actual Gary Johnson was based in Houston. Johnson aided police in gaining evidence on people looking to hire a contract killer. According to Hollandsworth's article, informants would tell cops when they knew someone wanted to hire a contract killer. Johnson, who wore a wire, would be introduced to prospective "clients," whom he hoped to extract a confession from and hopefully, secure a conviction.

2.Johnson said that he investigated upwards of 300 murder-for-hire allegations between the late 80s and 2001.

Gary Johnson in a courtroom testifying.

3.While an undercover cop, he believed that his prolificacy was a result of his communication skills.

Johnson was described as one of the best undercover hitmen in Houston due to his self-assured nature and calmness when meeting "clients." "What I'm really there to do is assist people in their communication skills," he said in the Texas Monthly article. "That's all my job is -- to help people open up, to get them to say what they really want, to reveal to me their deepest desires." Ultimately, he was a good listener, which became the most critical aspect of his success rate on the job.

4.He told people that he worked in "human resources."

Considering the nature of his job, it was hard for him to elaborate on his career choices to others, whether neighbors or women he'd meet at a job, according to Hollandsworth. He often would tell them that he worked in human resources at a company downtown as a way to deflect having to delve into details about his professional life.

5.His ex-wife described him as a loner.

Though Gary's interpersonal skills were undoubtedly better than the average person, he reportedly had difficulty maintaining relationships. He had been divorced three times by 2001. His second wife described him as a loner. "He'll show up at parties and have a good time, and he's always friendly, but he likes being alone, being quiet. It's amazing to me that he can turn on this other personality that makes people think he is a vicious killer."

6.Gary never actually killed anyone.

While the film's conclusion suggested otherwise, Gary never actually murdered anyone in real life. At the end of the movie, they clarify, "We made that part up."

7."All pie is good pie" was a real line.

Gary Johnson truly enjoys his pie.

8.Gary Johnson passed away in 2022, according to Tudum.

Title card that reads, "Dedicated to Gary Johnson, 1947 - 2022."

9.He used a multitude of aliases and adjusted his persona for each client. However, Glenn Powell dramatized it with absurd disguises.

Gary Johnson (Glenn Powell) in disguise.

10.Glenn Powell chose not to speak to Gary Johnson in the early stages of filming.

Glen Powell, a man in a white suit, smiles at an event. Two people hold signs saying "Stop trying to make Glen Powell happen" and "It's never gonna happen."

11.Madison (Adria Arjona) is based on a real woman, but there's no confirmation she had an intimate relationship with Johnson.

Gary Johnson and Madison in bed.

12.The movie was initially supposed to be set in Houston, where the real Gary Johnson worked.

Richard Linklater in a brown suit stands outside a theater displaying a marquee that reads "Richard Linklater's Hit Man." City buildings and a lit sign in the background

13.Johnson was once shot on the job.

While he landed his first gig as a fake contract killer in 1989, Johnson reportedly worked smaller cases as an investigator for the D.A., where he'd help with car theft cases and gathering evidence. However, in 1986, he got shot during an arrest, sustaining injuries to his leg and foot, which left him out of work for a week.

14.He was described as "the Laurence Olivier of the field" in the Texas Monthly article.

Gary Johnson in the car with Jasper.

15.The highly publicized arrest of Lynn Kilroy appears to be referenced during the sequence of arrests in the movie's first 25 minutes.

Jo-Ann Robinson as the wealthy woman seemingly based on Lynn Kilroy.

16.Johnson worked as a professor at a community college twice a week.

Glenn Powell as Gary Johnson teaching a course.

17.Interestingly enough, Johnson initially wanted to be a psychology professor.

While he was a clearly talented investigator, Johnson never had much of a desire to pursue a career in law enforcement. In fact, Hollandsworth states that his "dream was to teach psychology in college." The article continues, "He thought he would be happiest analyzing human behavior from a safe, academic perspective." Johnson received a master's degree in psychology after taking night courses at McNeese State University in his home state of Louisiana. However, once he moved to Houston in 1981 with aspirations to enter the University of Houston’s doctoral program in psychology, he was denied and began working for the D.A.

18.His experience in law enforcement began during the war in Vietnam.

As mentioned earlier, Johnson already had experience in law enforcement before a prolific career as a fake contract killer. He served as a military policeman overseeing convoys in Vietnam. When he returned home, he worked as a Sheriff's deputy in Louisiana, then relocated to Port Arthur, Texas, where he started his work as an undercover officer trying to bust drug dealers. "I don’t think the drug dealers ever suspected I might be a cop because my personality was so weird to begin with,” he said, displaying an innate skill in his undercover work.

19.Gary Johnson personal life was much less exciting than his professional one.

Gary Johnson (Glenn Powell) eating with two cats eating near the sink.