Luc Besson got the idea of doing this movie while working on his previous movie, Nikita (1990). In that film's third act, Victor the Cleaner appears to deal with the aftermath of Nikita's botched mission.

Jean Reno is quietly mesmerizing as Léon, offering everything he has to take care of this orphaned girl who quickly wins his heart. But he must also protect her from her parents' killer, Stansfield (the ballistic Gary Oldman), a psychotic with a badge who wants to tie up loose ends.

jean reno as leon

leon luc besson ean reno new york

leon besson

jean reno luc besson

According to Jean Reno, he decided to play Léon by Luc Besson as if he were a little mentally slow and emotionally repressed. He felt that this would make audiences relax and realize that he wasn't someone who would take advantage of a vulnerable young girl. Reno claims that for Léon, the possibility of a physical relationship with Mathilda is not even conceivable, and as such, during the scenes when such a relationship is discussed, Reno very much allowed Mathilda to be emotionally in control of the scenes.

Luc Besson

Luc Besson is a film director, screenwriter, and producer. He directed using a distinctive style dubbed Cinéma du look by critics. In 1980, he founded his own production company, called Les Films du Loup, and later Les Films du Dauphin.
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