“Hit Man” star Adria Arjona explains the genesis of that intense Notes app interrogation scene with Glen Powell

"That scene needs two people being symbiotic, and that's what we became," Adria Arjona tells Entertainment Weekly.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Hit Man.

One of the funniest and most intense scenes in Hit Man almost didn’t work at all. But when the cast finally cracked it, they created one of the best uses of smartphones in recent movies — and a demonstration of the teamwork underlying the whole process.

The new film from director Richard Linklater stars Glen Powell as Gary Johnson, a college professor and technology expert who pretends to be a professional assassin to ensnare wannabe criminals. It all goes well until Gary falls for one of his targets, a woman named Madison (Adria Arjona), who wants to get free from her abusive marriage.

Shortly after Gary reveals the truth of his deception to her, he has to return to her home under orders from the police, who suspect Madison of murdering her estranged husband. Since Gary is wearing a wire and the police are listening in, he communicates the truth to her by typing on his phone’s Notes app while they put on a show for the cops in their dialogue. 

<p>Courtesy of Netflix</p> Adria Arjona and Glen Powell in 'Hit Man'

Courtesy of Netflix

Adria Arjona and Glen Powell in 'Hit Man'

During the rewriting and rehearsal process, that scene went through a few different iterations before it became clear that the characters communicating via Notes app was the most organic way to do it.

“We had early versions where he would be writing the messages at stoplights on the way to her house,” Linklater tells Entertainment Weekly. “But then we were just like, no, have him type it in! Of course, he would do that.”

According to Arjona, the finished scene reflects the creative process behind Hit Man. Linklater and Powell are the credited co-writers of the screenplay, based on a Texas Monthly article by Skip Hollandsworth, but they also sought Arjona’s input on her character and went through extensive rehearsals.

“Rick works like such an athlete. He really put us through this boot camp of two-and-a-half weeks of breakfast, lunch, and dinner: Script rewriting, pitching ideas, restructuring, rehearsing. We just never stopped,” Arjona tells EW. “So by the time that we got to film these scenes, we were able to just relax and have fun with it. Since this movie didn’t have that big of a budget, we didn’t have time to waste on set. So we just rehearsed and rehearsed, and then every day on set was game day.”

<p>Netflix</p> Glen Powell in 'Hit Man'


Glen Powell in 'Hit Man'

The Notes app scene was particularly challenging because Arjona and Powell had to say one thing in their dialogue and portray something totally different in their body language.

“It felt weird when we first started rehearsing because it was like you're rubbing your belly and patting your head at the same time,” Arjona says. “If I was just an actress in this movie, it would've felt really weird. But the fact that these two gentlemen allowed me to be part of the process and part of the development, it really allowed me to be in sync with both my filmmaker and my costar. That scene needs two people being symbiotic, and that's sort of what we became. So, for me, it was so much fun.”

Hit Man is streaming now on Netflix. 

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.