Leone Montana

Leone Montana

    Leon: The Professional
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living… in Little Italy, New York City, where he lived alone until Mathilda, his 12-year-old neighbor, came to stay with him. Leon moved from Morrocco at 17 after killing his dead girlfriend’s father the day the father got out of jail for killing Leon’s girlfriend. He hasn’t left New York since. Death has followed him wherever he’s gone.

Profession… hitman. His employer is a guy named Tony. His record is longer than a restaurant's menu.  That's why Leon can't have a bank account. There are three contracts out on his new target and if Leon kills the target he’ll get three times his usual $8,000. He’s not one for big productions. He’s the kind of hitman who comes from nowhere, gets the job done, and disappears. Assassins are a lonely kind, worse than wolves.

Interests… learning how to read from Mathilda, taking care of his plant, doing calisthenics, and watching Gene Kelly musicals. Mathilda’s whole family was recently murdered and she asks him to teach him how his job works so she can get revenge, but it's not that simple. It takes a lot of training.

Relationship Status… single. He had a girlfriend... a long time ago.  Before coming here, back in his country. He was 14 years old. They flirted like kids. Her father didn't want her to meet him. His family was not very respectable. Leon’s father killed her when he wouldn't stop seeing her. He hasn’t had another girlfriend since. Mathilda says she's in love with Leon, but she's only 12. She's like a daughter to Leon but she won't accept that role.

Challenge… keeping Mathilda safe and keeping himself out of darkness. Nothing is the same after you kill someone. Your life changes forever.  You can never cancel it, neither from your memory nor from your criminal record. You'll never sleep again like before. Leon doesn’t remember what it's like to not have that weighing on his conscience.

Personality… fearless. It's fear that makes a lot of people live, he believes. It's because they fear death that they live with so much tenacity. It's because of it that they bear what's unbearable. It takes a long while to lose it, this fear, but once you’ve lost it, you are free. And then you can start functioning properly, because you can work on other people's fear, play with it. Leon is a master of this, but that may not be enough to keep him alive in his line of work.


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