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The Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day wants everyone. EEEEVVVEERRRRYYYOOOONNNEEEE!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s Behind the Scenes Pic!

Ah, Leon, how I love you. What an amazing flick, one that I find myself revisiting at least a couple times a year. The Professional is one of those perfect films that takes itself seriously, deals with serious themes yet is unapologetically badass and over-the-top. I don’t know how Luc Besson did it. He’s made some fantastic films in his career, but there’s something about this one that is just magic.

It could be the combination of Jean Reno at the top of his game playing the perfect mixture of childlike and killer. It could be finding Natalie Portman and pulling one of the best child performances out of her. It could be the casting of Gary Oldman before he was the go-to villain and his insanity wasn’t expected. It’s probably all three and more.

Today’s pic features Portman’s Matilda learning from two masters… Leon and Luc Besson. Thank to reader Madhu for sending the image along! Enjoy!



Tomorrow’s pic is the king of the world!

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  • Jan. 13, 2011, 8:10 p.m. CST


    by Ben

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 8:12 p.m. CST

    Bring me everyone

    by empyreal0

    Oldman is a god.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 8:12 p.m. CST

    one of the first movies I owned on VHS

    by thatfilmlover

    I'm 27 this year, that picture is lovely.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 8:22 p.m. CST

    Besson & Portman need to reteam for a sequel...

    by Rebel Scumb

    about matilda. So many possibilities there.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 8:24 p.m. CST

    what filthy piece of shit

    by whiskey_dick

    did I do now?

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 8:26 p.m. CST

    oh portman...

    by Noddy93

    i was one of those dirty old men who waited for her to turn 18 to feel justified

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 8:29 p.m. CST

    Besson looks MEGA sleazy..

    by Traumnovelle

    Haha. I love it.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 8:31 p.m. CST

    Don't forget Eric Serra's brilliant music score

    by aphextwin

    haunting, occassionaly sweet and intimate

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 8:32 p.m. CST


    by Bondtana

    I hate when people talk about a sequel... Leon's death would of been for nothing... FUck that.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 8:32 p.m. CST


    by Meadowe

    I thought those were pretty coo' and the first time I noticed the acting force known as Gary Oldman.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 8:35 p.m. CST

    I am almost at a loss for words...

    by HansBubi

    This movie is so good. So damn good. I just got it on blu-ray during the past week. Some of you might be able to relate. There are some movies (as well as music albums) that while you're watching them (or listening to them), you're convinced you're experiencing something nearly perfect. You know it's not your "favorite of all time," but it FEELS like it while you're in the moment of watching it. This movie is that way with me.

  • I normally don't like sequels to fliqs that should be stand-alone, but I am admittedly on the fence about Natalie Portman doing another professional. I love this movie, and if they do a sequel they can play Shape by Sugababes, which features the same background music and some of the same lyrics and chorus as Shape of my Heart, the end titles song sung by Sting.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 8:41 p.m. CST

    The movie Kick-Ass wish it could be.

    by imagin78

    Saw this as a double-feature with Army of Darkness. One of the best moviegoing experiences of my life.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Hey Little girl is your daddy home, did he go away and leave you all alone?

    by Redhead_Redemption

    I got a bad desire

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 8:47 p.m. CST

    Best pedo movie I've seen

    by GWARHOL

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 8:59 p.m. CST

    Perfect movie.acting,direction,story,music.

    by jack black

    and yeah i would love to see a sequel,but it wouldnt be as a good as the original in no way. Portman is the definition of jailbait in this movie.heh.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 9 p.m. CST

    Before there was a Hit Girl, there was Matilda!

    by Thanos0145

    The Professional is a great film.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 9:04 p.m. CST

    GREAT movie

    by elsewhere

    And now I must watch this again. Been awhile old friend.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 9:05 p.m. CST

    Oh and if a sequel is ever made,Portman must kill

    by jack black

    Aiello to avenge Leon.Because in reality,he was the one to blame for what happened to them and i am sorry,but sending her to school and paying her with Leon's money which he actually stole doesnot redeem him.never liked his two-face character in the film.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 9:06 p.m. CST

    If you haven't seen this movie...

    by HansBubi

    ...please do. Please! There are some movies we just never get around to seeing for many years. If this movie has been one of those for you, see it now! Now is the time!

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 9:07 p.m. CST

    Nikita is my second favorite from Besson

    by jack black

    not as good as Leon,but it also was a cool movie which also took itself seriously.And both Nikita and Leon have a lot of parallel similarities between hem if you think about it.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 9:34 p.m. CST


    by SID 8.0

    Seen the behind the scenes on HBO Oldman did that one line six times before they got one they liked. A true classic film.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 9:36 p.m. CST

    A sequel works, IF

    by V'Shael

    Mathilda is a damaged and slightly deranged and psychotic young woman. She keeps seeing Leon, not like a ghost, but more like a hallucination. He repeats lessons in how to kill, usual stuff like that. Half memory, half hallucination. Except in one particular job where the image of Leon (more her subconcious than anything else) brings her to question Danny Aiello's character. I really think it could work. Leon was never the smartest cookie in the world. (Danny takes advantage of him far too easily). It'd be interesting to see Mathilda work out what was going on, with prodding from a Leon who wasn't there. I think Besson could do without descending in to schmalz territory.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Flame war on the Harry Potter 7 thread

    by proevad

    Are you guys gonna continue that? Was just getting good and the last post was on dec. 12th. As far as this thread goes, love the pic and the film.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 9:52 p.m. CST

    portman now knocked up by black swan choreographer

    by Billy_D_Williams

    lucky fuck gets to stick it in her every night

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 10:05 p.m. CST

    Which version?

    by maxjohnson1971

    I have "The Professional" and the original cut "Leon." Usually, I prefer the longer, uncut version of a movie, but in this case, I really prefer "The Professional." "Leon" just got a bit TOO creepy with the pedo stuff I guess. The shorter version also seemed tighter and more focused to me. Either way, one of my favorites of all time. I can't see Reno as anything but Leon now and always think of that scene of him alone in the theater watching "Singin' in the Rain." Breaks my heart man.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 10:07 p.m. CST

    Anyone seen the trailer for Hanna?

    by The Dum Guy

    Makes me with they'd make a sequel to Leon.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 10:30 p.m. CST


    by Mullah Omar

    Nobody has anything to say about that?

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Wait...Danny Aiello's character was a dick?

    by paper

    Someone explain please.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 10:33 p.m. CST

    When Jean Reno was cool

    by paulloch

    The way he slips into the darkness in the beginning. Awesome. before cashing in and losing his cred in Godzilla, Pink Panther movies, and DaVinci junk. Spielberg said 80-90 percent of movie making is casting. and no movie proves it better than this. Three actors at or near their peak, and an actress at the beginning of a great career. Lightning in a bottle indeed.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 10:57 p.m. CST

    Gary Oldman - best drug addict ever

    by kiwicanuck

    This is just an amazing film, and Gary Oldman may have shown more range in other flicks, but for my money, he's never been more charismatic. He's also just as believable as a drug addict as he was in Sid n' Nancy. His shaky shaky crack n' suck of those capsules (what were those, anyone know?) was a thing of frightening menace. And how about his savoring, step-by-step ritual that accompanied taking them... First the shake of the weather-beaten cherished case (holding it up to his ear to enjoy the rattle), then the careful, loving opening of the case, followed by tossing the drugs in his mouth, then snapping them back like a lizard. In retrospect, the final suck-back reminds me a bit of Hannibal Lector's "fft-fft-fft" that punctuates the fava beans speech...but Gary Oldman's performance is just as good, and scared me as much as Hopkins when I first saw "The Professional." Damn, even his entrance was one of the greats, with everyone's nervousness around him letting us in on just how much of a threat he is...a similar method used in Sexy Beast to so brilliantly set up Ben Kingsley's character many years later. The threat is palpable long before you see the villain's face. And that's all just talking about Oldman, when everyone and everything else about this movie is just as damn good. That's it, I'm revisiting it this weekend.

  • Jan. 13, 2011, 11:54 p.m. CST

    Not Natalie's Best Jailbait Movie

    by Raskolnikov_was_framed

    that honor belongs to Beautiful Girls...granted she was slightly older but the sexual tension between her and Timothy Hutton was legit

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 12:45 a.m. CST

    $8 blu ray at amazon right now.

    by Nocturnaloner

    I like these calm little moments before the storm.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 3:40 a.m. CST

    "Pedo stuff"

    by TheComedian77

    If you REALLY like this film, and if you have been watching it PROPERLY, please STOP saying 'pedo stuff' wether in relation to the extended cut or whatever. Mathilda says she loves Leon, Leon NEVER suggests his love for her is sexual. That is not 'pedo stuff'. Grow up. Oh, wait. America. Puritanism. If he'd cut her head off and stuck it on a stick you'd have been fine but sexual innuendo creeps you out, right?

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 5:40 a.m. CST

    It is called...

    by Grrrr....

    ... The Professional where I'm from. Awesome movie.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 6:22 a.m. CST

    i have to agree.Joking aside there is no

    by jack black

    pedo stuff in this movie,implied or not.The relationship between Leon and Matilda is strictly that of a father between his daughter which is one of Besson's favorite themes (Taken anyone?) Yeah there is a scene where Matilda acts as a jailbait but that happens only to annoy Leon (the receptionist scene) The "i love you" scene is all about a girl who has never had a real family and finally finds the closest thing to a father/protector and she simply expresses her emotions about this to him. The same applies when Leon express his feelings to Matilda during the finale act,he found someone in the world to care about,NOT in a sexual way ofc. If you mistaken the above relationship as pedo stuff,then you must visit a shrink.pronto.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 6:59 a.m. CST

    althout i must admit that pic with the shirtless Besson

    by jack black

    behind Matilda,is a bit creepy.heh.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 8:14 a.m. CST

    this is indeed a great movie

    by The_Crimson_King

    been a long time since I've seen it though, is it on blu ray?

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 8:23 a.m. CST

    I see that it is, sweet

    by The_Crimson_King

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 9:04 a.m. CST

    My favorite line from the whole movie!

    by D.Vader

    Gary Oldman makes like 16 different facial expressions when he yells that out.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 9:05 a.m. CST

    By the way, this movie rocks

    by D.Vader

    One of my favorites since I was a kid. It made me fall instantly in love with Natalie Portman too v

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Besson is wearing a tank top or suspenders -

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    you can see a strap under his beard. And I believe it was shot during a New York summer..prolly a hot set...literally.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 9:26 a.m. CST

    the pedo stuff...

    by JAMF

    hmm i think you guys are misunderstanding maxjohnson1971, i dont think hes saying leon is presented as a possible pedo but hes referring to shit like natalie portman dressing up sexy and asking leon to fuck her. surely we can label that as 'pedo stuff' cant we?

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Besson looks like aanother bully from PETE & PETE

    by Tigger Tales

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 10:27 a.m. CST

    "This...... is from.... Mathilda".......ka boom!

    by masteryoda007

    One of my favourite lines ever.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 10:31 a.m. CST


    by spidercoz

    sorry, but it is

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 10:33 a.m. CST

    "pedo stuff" - if I recall Leon acted as a protector and father figure

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    not in any sexual manner. Natalie Portman's character (given the age, her hormones would be kicking in), whose parents were brutally murdered, I would say, would be a little damaged, looking for love in all the wrong places, so to speak. Leon rejected her advances. Now, if a pedophile viewed that scene and was aroused because, to them, Portman would be a fantasy figure, an underage girl making sexual advances..thats THEIR problem. Not the films.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 10:59 a.m. CST

    It could be...

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    ...that Besson managed, in one movie, to set the standard and basic tropes for almost every other action movie for the rest of the 1990's and beyond. I love this film, it just exudes pure coolness.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Just saw it again last week

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    Someone mentioned it doesn't feel dated, and they're right... well, except for the older sister character's early-90's workout leotards, that is. Another funny thing: A female reviewer on another site recently said the only thing she hated about this film was that it brainwashed her into spending the rest of the 1990's rockin' Mathilda's pixie haircut.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 11:41 a.m. CST


    by DangerDave

    My friends scream that at random times and fuck with people's heads. Everyone is going to see that movie. What do you mean everyone? EVVVVERRRRRYYYONEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 11:42 a.m. CST

    tigger tales - I agree

    by sweeneydave

    Besson resembles Endless Mike Helstrom.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 12:59 p.m. CST

    what the hell happened to Besson???

    by zdog22

    A lot of great movies in the 90's and last I checked he did that crap animated troll movie. Bring on another 5th Element movie

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 1:36 p.m. CST

    jean reno is a god

    by Ciderman

    Yes, there has been tripe but all is forgiven for Leon and Ronin, the coolest pair of movies ever, stealthy killer, get away driver, NYC standing in for Paris/Rome in Leon, metropolitan and rural France the greatest backdrops ever to a pair of movies that set the agenda for all that followed. Unleashed is the only movie since that took a star, Jet Li, and showed us just how cool he could be, and set the stage for Bourne and Bond.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Watching "Black Swan," all I could think was...

    by WriteForTheEdit

    ...Natalie would fucking SHRED in a "Leon" sequel... I'd vote for "Matilda: The Professional" as the title. God, gives me the chills just thinking bout the possibilities...

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 1:51 p.m. CST


    by GWARHOL

    To all those unwilling to accept that real sexual tension between the two main characters in Leon not only exists and is a major element to the story, but is also responsible for much of the films popularity and success: Get over it. It's French. The film is better for it.

  • Jan. 14, 2011, 7:38 p.m. CST

    Jamf and Gwarhol

    by maxjohnson1971

    Thank you! Perhaps "Pedo stuff" wasn't the best phrase, but for anyone to deny the sexual tension on display in this movie is silly. There WAS that tension there and it was there on purpose. No, I didn't mean to imply that Leon is a pedophile at all. BUT... It is clear that he is uncomfortable with the way he feels at times around Mathilda. I think that was played up too much in the original cut is all. "Here piggy piggy piggy..."

  • Jan. 15, 2011, 12:12 a.m. CST


    by Mundungus

    Amazing.... I got the reference before I digested the whole sentence. That's iconic.

  • Jan. 15, 2011, 3:03 p.m. CST


    by th3480

    Gary Oldman owns every fuckin' Luc Besson film he's in.