10 Movies You Didn't Realise Inspired Songs

7. Léon: The Professional

Juno Green Day
Buena Vista International

Artist & Song: Alt-J – "Matilda" & "Leon"

The debut album for alt-J, An Awesome Wave, included a track titled "Matilda," and while most people might assume the song's inspiration came from the film of the same name, it most certainly did not. The inspiration for the track came from Natalie Portman's character in Léon: The Professional.

The lyrics discuss the relationship between Matilda and Leon, which is the main plot of the film. Several phrases from the movie are repeated, including "This is from Matilda," "This is for Matilda," and "Put the grenade pin in your hand, so you understand who's boss," which isn't a direct quote, but references the ending of the film.

Interestingly, alt-J didn't stop writing songs about Léon: The Professional with Matilda. The band went on to write "Leon" about the eponymous hitman from the movie, which delves into the relationship between the two characters with an emphasis on Leon, which is reflected in the lyrics:

You're a pro, kill 'em all Kill 'em all, cause you're a pro/Save her now because she loves you Leon

alt-J has has always revelled in post-modern lyricism, marking themselves out as different thanks to leaning on pop-culture as a source of inspiration in their music. They often look to controversial and important people for inspiration, but there's clearly a love of one film, in particular, that has driven their songwriting over the years.


Jonathan is a graphic artist, illustrator, writer, and game designer. Jonathan retired from the U.S. Army in 2017 and enjoys researching and writing about history, science, theology, and many other subjects. He writes for ScreenRant, CBR, NerdBastards, Listverse, Ranker, WhatCulture, and many other sites online. You can check out his latest on Twitter: @TalkingBull or on his blog: jonathanhkantor.com