Hit Man Has A Really Memorable Catchphrase For Glen Powell. Apparently It's Not Even Made Up

Glen Powell wearing glasses and collared shirt with long-ish hair in Netflix's Hit Man
(Image credit: Netflix)

Warning: minor SPOILERS for Hit Man are ahead!

The Richard Linklater-directed Hit Man is now available to stream with a Netflix subscription, and considering how much critics are raving about the comedy, it’s probably safe to classify it as one of the best movies on Netflix. Glen Powell stars as psychology and philosophy professor Gary Johnson, who poses as a hitman for the New Orleans Police Department and falls in love with a potential client named Maddy, played by Adria Arjona. Hit Man is loosely based on a real life-story, and as it turns out, Powell’s memorable catchphrase originated from those events rather than being made up.

When Powell’s Gary is undercover during the movie, he verifies his clients’ identities when they meet at restaurants by having them ask him, “How’s the pie?”, to which he answers, “All pie is good pie.” Richard Linklater said that he heard real Gary Johnson, who passed away in 2022, say this same line while in surveillance tapes that the filmmaker watched for research. As he told GamesRadar+:

The line in the movie - ‘all pie is good pie’ - people ask me who made that up but it’s a Gary Johnson line. You can hear the people go like 'oh, we are going to meet at this little diner, how will you know it’s me, I’ll be eating pie in the corner, come ask me how’s the pie, I’ll say you know…' They think they are in a crime movie, that everybody is playing a role, that it’s a secret code, that they are dealing with the real deal here.

To flip around a classic phrase, this is an example of art imitating life. Normally that’s pretty boring, but considering that the majority of the story beyond the basic details of the real Gary Johnson’s work was ideated by Linklater and Powell when they were writing the Hit Man script, it’s welcome to hear that they threw this actual catchphrase in that their source of inspiration used. However, just because the line was used doesn’t mean that Linklater agrees with the sentiment. When asked if all pie is indeed good pie, he answered:

No! There's a lot of crappy pie in the world!

I can only hope that Glen Powell actually did enjoy the pie he ate both while shooting the movie and filming that Pi Day promotional video for Hit Man. Powell and Adria Arjona are joined in the cast by Austin Amelio, Retta, Sanjay Rao, Molly Bernard and Evan Holtzman. Ahead of its Netflix release, the movie had a limited theatrical run, and our own Riley Utley argued that it’s a strong case for the streamer keeping its movies in theaters longer. As mentioned earlier, Hit Man has been met with critical acclaim, boasting a 97% Tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes and a 93% Audience Score. It currently ranks as Netflix’s 7th highest-rated movie on the Tomatometer, ranking above Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and below Godzilla Minus One.

If you haven’t already, judge Hit Man for yourself by streaming it on Netflix. After you’ve done that, consult the 2024 movies schedule to figure out what new release you want to watch next.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.