It’s time for another mystery folks, and Benoit Blanc, last of the gentleman sleuths, is back on the case! Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is hitting select theaters just in time for Thanksgiving, and to celebrate, we want to take you guys into all the fun and mystery from the film’s global press conference.
In attendance were writer/director Rian Johnson, and stars Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn
Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline, Kate Hudson and co-producer Ram Bergman. Though Daniel Craig, the man behind Blanc was unable to make it, and the talented Dave Bautista was away in Poland shooting a film, the event was still tremendously fun, and the terrific ensemble answered so many terrific questions about the ins and outs of the latest Knives Out mystery. Here’s what they had to say:
When asked about the challenges of creating the film from scratch, director/writer, Johnson stated, “Well, it was, I mean, it was challenging, but it was also, I guess, you know, when Daniel and I were making the first one, even when we were on set, we were just having such a good time. We were, like, if this does even moderately well, it’d be really fun to keep making these. But the mode in which we were thinking to keep making them was always [makes noise] not to continue the story of the first one, but to treat them the way Agatha Christie treated her books and to do an entirely new mystery every time, a new location, new rogues gallery of characters… And every single book had a whole new reason for being. So, sitting down to write this one, that was kinda the marching orders. Let’s not just turn the crank and do another, let’s come up with something that’s truly different and that actually is gonna make audiences say, ‘Oh, wow. I’m getting the same pleasure I did from the first one, but I’ve never seen this before.’ And that’s kind of the exciting thing.
Discussing how the ensemble functioned together, WandaVision star Hahn had this to say, “We really did get to and have to spend, like, every single day, really together, even in, like, it felt like there was a backstage and an on stage. Like, we had these holding areas where we were kind of all together. We ate lunches together for the most part. It felt very much like we were in a theater ensemble. Leslie was talking about this last night, and he knows from theater ensembles… Like, he was able to find a group of humans that had that. That is really rare. Like, a group of people that was able to kind of just be there for the thing. And also starting with Daniel, who had been through it before and was there with such a welcoming generosity of spirit for every single person to just, to be able to — like,
there were so many shots [makes noise] where the camera was on one person, but if you turned it around to see the rest of us all crowded around behind the camera for someone’s reaction shot to all be there was pretty remarkable and hilarious.”
Norton was asked about his role of Miles Bron, and his relationship with the comedic aspects of the character. “I mean, when someone like Rian calls and says, you know, I’m basically gonna run a summer camp for deeply unserious people and I need people who are willing to ham it up. You know, it was printed in the invite, you know.
But I do think, yeah, I think when you’re with a group of people and it becomes apparent that the words repetitive and boring have never been applied to any of them, it just, you know, it’s a lot of fun. I mean, we’ve talked about it
a lot, we’ve said it… For a lot of us who came into this through theater or just that idea of being in a repertory company, an ensemble, it has a special pleasure. It reminds you of, you know, your high school drama club, for those of who were dorky enough to be in the high school drama club. But you know, it’s getting, you know, there’s a funny irony to making films or doing theater, which is it’s a bunch of adults playing dress up and pretending to be other people. And it’s kind of amazing how much seriousness we layer over that in so many of the things we do. So, when
you strip that off of it, and I’m not saying, obviously this is a hardworking bunch of people, but I think when you liberate yourself from any pretention to be doing anything other but entertaining the audience, entertaining
yourselves, entertaining each other, it’s incredibly wonderful. And after a year and a half in your pajamas, it’s especially great.”
When asked about her stellar performance in the film and her relationship with her castmates, Monae (who owns this movie) was asked, “I am a fan of everybody on this stage. You know, I think that being able to work with Rian is a dream. I literally just told myself if I ever had the opportunity, it’s a yes. And then after reading this script, it was a hell yes. You know, because this is a character that you get to play with. So many layers, so mysterious. It took a lot of focus. There were moments where the cast was out having a blast after they did their scenes. And you know, maybe I was in a corner upset, jealous, mad. No. No, no, no, I wasn’t. We had murder mystery parties, like, outside of filming a murder mystery. Like, we’re in Greece, what can I complain about, you know? I got an opportunity to grow as an actor, I got an opportunity to also gain what I like to say family.”
Henwick was asked what it was like to join a Knives Out movie and see Monae in a full costume on set. She had this to say, “It was amazing. Janelle, it was a guaranteed serve. If Janelle was coming to dinner, it was gonna be a look and everybody else was underdressed. Yeah, yeah. I don’t even know how you had the time to go find those costumes in Serbia.” To which, Monae replied she actually packed her outfits for the shoot.
Cline, who was Henwick’s partner during the press junkets, was asked what it was like to receive the call to shoot Glass Onion. “I was landing in New York. And you know when, like, you get close enough to the ground when everybody’s phones start pinging. And I got a message from Rian. He was like, would you have time for a call? And I panicked. I was like, he’s gonna tell me I didn’t get it. And so I said, in an hour. I had to prepare myself. Then I was like, wait, no, no, that’s stupid. Yes, of course. And so, Rian, I was huddled in a corner at baggage claim ’cause it was so loud and Rian was over the phone asking me if I wanted to be a part of it. I was like, you’re asking, is that even a question? Of course, I do. So yeah. And then I proceeded to, like, have the best weekend of my life and cheers to that. It was amazing.”
Scene-stealer, Hudson, who plays fashion icon, Birdy Jay, was asked to discuss Craig’s Blanc accent. She described what it was like hearing it for the first time and said, “Yeah. It kind of, like, lifts the veil. Like oh shit, I’m actually here. I’m in a Knives Out mystery. Yeah. I mean, for me, I think just watching Daniel work was a privilege and he’s a consummate professional. I mean, he shows up ready to deliver every line. He honors Rian’s words and he brings something just spectacular, as any movie star would. Just to be a part of that and to learn from that and to watch was, for me, really something.”
When asked about the theatrical like relationship of the ensemble, Odom had this to say. “Oh yeah. I mean, I think, yes. I’ve had a couple opportunities, you know, to be a part of great ensembles with Hamilton and One Night in Miami. And this is, yeah, this is one of the best, you know. But it’s really an impossible thing I think to achieve without the leadership. You know, it happens from the top down. You know, you really can’t lead from the rear or from the bottom of the call sheet, as it were, or the middle of the call sheet, you know. It’s really Rian and Daniel and Ram making it feel that creative and that permissive and that fun. So yeah, I felt it. Yeah.”
Overall, much like a Benoit Blanc mystery, it was an insightful, entertaining, and classy way to spend a morning with some of the finest actors in one of the best ensembles you’ll see on screen this year! Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is now in select theaters, and will hit Netflix December 23.