How Adria Arjona Put the “Hit” in ‘Hit Man’

Adria Arjona: The Rising Star of “Hit Man”

Arjona’s recent movie, titled “Hit Man” has been a tremendous success, nonetheless, she does everything in order to not think about it. It is about how Glen Powell stars as an undercover fake killer for hire and Adria Arjona plays his character’s client in this intriguing movie by Richard Linklater. First shown at the Venice Film Festival in year 2023, the film received numerous glowing reviews. After that, Netflix purchased it during the Toronto Film Festival in one of the biggest deals of the year. As mentioned by Adria Arjona, “I try to stay out of it, I try not to read nice things people say as well as trying not to read the bad things. Either way, I’m going to be ruined – like if I read all these wonderful things that are said about me.”

A Decade of Commitment

During her childhood years in Mexico City and Miami, she was called Adria Arjona and now she is 32 years old. For ten years she has been acting professionally with roles in projects such as True Detective, Andor and HBO Max’s Father of the Bride remake among others. This summer lineup represents a major milestone for her career. After “Hit Man,” she will be seen in Zoë Kravitz’s much anticipated directorial debut, “Blink Twice.” Working with Linklater has been a dream come true for her, as he has long been one of her favorite filmmakers.

Adria Arjona On Creating Her Hit Man Character and Chemistry with Glen Powell - Netflix Tudum

During her THR interview which took place from inside a car on its way to JFK airport via Zoom; Adria Arjona revealed her upcoming plans. She has time only for a quick stop at home before heading out to Portland OR for Amazon Prime Video’s Criminals a series, co-created by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck [15]. Amidst all this hectic schedule, however, Arjona notes that it is important for her to stay grounded and never lose touch with herself and loved ones.

Staying Grounded

Arjona however, ensures she stays down to earth because of her traveling with her friends and family. Her mother was present at the recent Austin premiere of “Hit Man” while her aunt and two best friends came with her during the New York press circuit. “My people keep me humble, because no one makes fun of me more than they do.” She says laughing. Adria Arjona’s career has undoubtedly been on the rise with compelling performances and a down to earth personality, she is definitely a star in the making. What sets her apart is how she navigates between thriving professionally while still keeping true to who she is.

Career Choices and Instinct

What were you looking for in your career when you took up the role in Hit Man?
I choose roles based on my instincts alone. One thing I consider deeply as well are those three months that I’ll be working on set – what kind of person will I be living with? It’s a special time and there are only so many movies I can do in my life… so those are really important things to me. There was so much I could learn from Rick. I had opportunities where he let me pick his brain, we worked together on this project and he gave me confidence.”

Getting to work with someone like Rick was really exciting for me. It wasn’t just about the job itself, but more so being around someone who’s so talented and experienced. The chance to collaborate with him and learn from him was priceless. He gave me a lot of confidence as well as insight, which I deeply appreciate. His advice and having worked together were critical in my decision to take on this role.

Striking a Balance Between Intuition and Strategy

I am not very strategic when it comes to choosing roles, instead, I base my choices on gut feeling at any particular moment. Sometimes, I wish my mind worked more strategically, but that is why there are agents in place; they help guide me through these decisions by thinking of the long term implications involved in each one so that I can make the best choices concerning my career. Ultimately, my instincts are trusted when choosing roles to play. It’s about finding projects that move me, challenge me and enable growth in myself as an actor and as a person too. Why do certain roles appeal to me? It’s not just about what happens after but rather the journey along with people who accompany me throughout.

The Debate over Release Patterns

Quem é Adria Arjona, a atriz que impressiona como Bix Caleen em Andor | Disney Brasil

Was there any debate about whether this film should have had more theatrical exposure prior to its Netflix release?
I first saw “Hit Man” with an audience in Austin at its premiere. There were rumors that people had been clapping and cheering during the movie, but experiencing it for myself was surreal. There’s this big phone scene between Glen and me, and suddenly everyone started clapping and cheering. I remember being taken aback because all I could say was “Wait! The movie isn’t over yet,” what are you guys doing?” This turned out to be a very surprising and emotional moment for me. That particular phone scene was especially significant. It was a scene Glen and I had talked about for a long time. We did so much to make sure that they were perfect. It was really fulfilling to see the audience react positively like that. It was justified by their response to this scene as we had put tremendous effort into making it meaningful.

The Audience’s Reaction

Hearing real-time audience reactions is one of a kind experience. Their enthusiasm and support during the premiere made me realize how strong cinema is, in bringing people together. This became emotional because we had dedicated so much time and resources in creating it. All of us who worked on this film were grateful when the viewers appreciated our devotion. Thinking back on that night in Austin, I can only feel mixed feelings. It marked the climax of all the talks, practices, struggles we underwent while working on this movie. The day when it finally came to life onto a big screen with an amazing audience response became one of those very few eye-opening experiences for me as well as Glenn himself. It reminded me why storytelling is vital and why movies are magical!

Memorable Moments from Filming

Most times we were working in New Orleans; barely any opportunity to go around town. After shooting began, I stayed largely indoors except for my prompting room which happened to be Glen’s living room at first, then later on in production activity. My daily routine was quite fixed: I would wake up early and head to the gym. Interestingly, Glen would also be at the gym, which became a regular part of our mornings.

After a workout, I’d go home to shower and by 9 a.m., I was already sitting down with Glen and Rick, having breakfast and going over the script. Our days were full; onsite activities lasted until evening hours before dinner break, immediately followed by retiring to bed because of immense tiredness. Even on Saturdays and Sundays our schedule remained the same. It was however a lot of hard work, but the entire team was determined to have the best film ever produced.

The last day of filming is one that I remember very well. We were shooting at night, and we wrapped up at around 2 am, which conveniently enough happened to be Glen’s birthday. There was cake involved in my celebration for him along with having a live band show up for music purpose alone. It suddenly turned into an all-out bash with tequila shots and everything else you could imagine. Hugging each other; crying together; exchanging sweet words: this all happened there. I had no desire to go home; typically, by the end of any shoot, I’m ready to say goodbye and move on. But this time was different—I really wanted to stay because Glen was still filming his other characters.

Parting Ways

However, I had to leave for my next project called “Andor”. This made me feel bittersweet since I loved every person who worked on that set especially Glen. We both went through a lot during those months so parting ways wasn’t easy at all. The experience has been unique compared to anything else giving me memories that will always remain with me till now!

Characters That Took Me By Surprise

Hit Man's' Adria Arjona On Being The Rom-Com's Wild Card

Did any of those characters take you by surprise when you saw the final version of the movie?
Oh, God; all of them did. There were always teeth floating around during rehearsals, which was hilarious. Glen would try to hide them or something because he wanted to preserve Ron’s sexy guy persona for me alone. It was interesting how he tried to maintain that façade. Glen makes fun of me about this sometimes I really like Tanner, this tattooed character without teeth in his mouth. Tanner just feels like a good time and I think it adds some charm to the story.

Learning the Hard Way

But weren’t you one who came into this slowly after saying that you mostly stay out of these conversations?
No way! I learnt it through hard times. When people do not appreciate the effort you have put in place, it can be so much devastating for an individual. My dad is a musician and has always been in public domain so I saw how he dealt with it as a small girl growing up, he is very private and concentrates only on his artistry and creativity; this highly influenced my life. Noticeably, from him I learnt how important it is to keep grounded as well as not minding what others say.

My father’s experience in the limelight showed me that there was need for balancing between public perception and personal gratification through ones work. I would rather concentrate on music than public opinion said my father, it has been quite beneficial. This helps me focus on my work and find joy doing what I love instead of worrying about its reception by others..

This has helped me grow both personally and professionally, as such I am able to remain creative and deeply interested in acting. A calmness comes over me whenever i think about having inner peace because i believe in doing things that are right. They can either hate or love what I have done but I can always say that I tried my best and stayed true to myself which is a good thing. This kind of thinking makes me have peace of mind as far as the industry is concerned.

Embracing the Journey

Essentially, staying out of the discourse has been an enlightening journey for me. This is about embracing process, learning from each experience and growing as an artist at all times. I focus on acting because I love it, the connections I make along the way, and the stories i get to tell. This attitude stops me from getting carried away by external opinions in my work.

How did making “Hit Man” under Linklater compare to being directed by Zoë Kravitz?
I soon discovered that Zoë Kravitz is very much capable of feeling for her actors. The way she spoke to me differed greatly from Naomi [Ackie]. She tailored her approach to each of us, which made a huge difference in our performances. I felt so comfortable in my own skin because I was wearing a bikini for the role. Zoë didn’t want any of us women to fail at all, she was so supportive towards this movie. She created such an environment where we’re safe and empowered.

The Struggle with Self-Criticism

Are you at ease watching yourself?
Watching myself on screen is something I struggle with. As soon as I get a glimpse of it, it’s like, “oh my god stop moving your face!” From the very first time I watch any of my movies, I am extremely self-critical. When they go wrong even slightly, i tend to point out every single aspect and become hard-hearted, usually during the second viewing, after getting over myself eventually. Then i start paying attention more about little things like how horrible particular scenes are or how ugly my arm looks for instance…. It’s hard not to get caught up in those details.

However, by the third time I watch it, I can finally see the film for what it is without tearing myself apart every step along the way. The story becomes interesting and performances enjoyable regardless of who’s involved. Seeing this movie is a reflection on who i was then since i can tell how far i have come as an actor and as a person. It’s an experience that is not the same for everyone, but it helps me see where I have been and how far I’ve travelled in this business.

Having Fun with the Cast of “Blink Twice”

The reason why “Blink Twice” was so fun is that it is really an ensemble piece which meant that for once, I could just enjoy it because all my mates killed it. And what she did was amazing; that room left me pretty giddy which honestly doesn’t happen often. This happened in secret — mostly, no doubt about it, and i am kind of scared to watch alone (except that two producers were there who weren’t sitting close enough to me) – I was alone in fact. However, that wasn’t scary as perceived by many people. Scary in a different way though, gotta be honest here girls who are fraidy cats about watching movies; this one’s for you.

Did it have its original title, “Pussy Island,” when you joined?
Yes! Like I got sides because I auditioned for it and they were only four pages long. Zoe let me know a bit more than what she said on the phone call. When I got everything else typed up, I thought to myself, fucking awesome, i will always remember them as Pussy Island

Embracing Creativity

Since “Hit Man,” what is the most significant way you have changed?
I now have more confidence in what I do, as a Latin American actress, I’ve been too focused on trying very hard to create my own way and prove to the industry that I am more than just a stereotype or can take different roles. There is another side of myself that wants to be creative in diverse ways that I did not realize existed. I don’t want to prove anymore that there is enough space for another Latin actress — I’m over that.

Next, now, it’s like, what are the kinds of stories that I want to bring to life? I realized that my focus has shifted. Instead of trying to prove myself now, all I want is my creativity explored through new avenues. My interest now lies on which stories should be told as well as the characters to bring to life, it’s about finding projects that resonate with me and allow me to express different facets of my creativity. This new perspective has made me more confident and excited about my future in the industry.


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