A Guide to the Celebrity Cameos in ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’
This story contains spoilers.
The cast of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is so star-studded that it’s hard to imagine there’d be room for any more celebrities. And yet, Rian Johnson managed to squeeze in a few extra famous faces as his latest whodunnit unfolds, ranging from star athletes to industry legends. Even the ominous “dong” sound on the private island comes from a surprise source.
While the film stars Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline, Kate Hudson, and Dave Bautista, here are the celebrity cameos that joined them onscreen. Did you catch them all?
After your annual rewatch of Love, Actually, Hugh Grant pops back up on your screen this holiday season in Glass Onion. He plays Benoit Blanc’s partner Philip, who answers the door when Helen (Janelle Monáe) comes to the detective’s apartment to ask for his assistance.
Johnson confirmed earlier this year that Benoit is queer. “Yes, he obviously is,” the director told Entertainment Weekly. And Craig was excited for Grant to play his onscreen beau, saying, “There’s nobody in the world I can imagine in bringing me more joy for Benoit Blanc to be with.”
Please, please, please let Philip come back in the next movie.
Angela Lansbury, Stephen Sondheim, Natasha Lyonne, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Early in the movie, Benoit Blanc is seen playing Among Us with an unlikely group over Zoom: veteran actress Angela Lansbury, esteemed composer Stephen Sondheim, Russian Doll star and creator Natasha Lyonne, and NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. (If only all of our lockdown FaceTime buddies were this iconic.)
It’s perhaps one of the final screen appearances for Sondheim, who passed away last year, and Lansbury, who died in October. Johnson told Entertainment Weekly that he was able to Zoom with the legends himself, record the footage, and edit it into the movie. Sondheim was apparently a fan of the first Knives Out and asked to get on a call with Johnson. “He was at his house, and he had blurred out the background. And I got on the Zoom with him, we got to chat for about 15 minutes,” the director told EW.
The tennis star appears in a virtual workout mirror in Miles’ (Edward Norton) gym when Benoit and Helen are having a private conversation. Williams appears to be in pre-recorded footage at first, but then it turns out she’s actually present on a live call. She asks the duo if they want to work out and, sadly, they have other business to handle first.
The security guard-like man who welcomes Miles’ guests in Greece before they boarded the boat for his island was, indeed, Ethan Hawke. His nameless character sprays an unknown disinfectant into the guests’ mouths, apparently making them immune to Covid. Johnson told Entertainment Weekly that Hawke was in Budapest filming Moon Knight at the time, so he swung to Greece to film his cameo one day.
The acclaimed musician is spotted playing cello at an unexpected gig: Birdie’s (Kate Hudson) apartment party. He even helps her open Miles’ puzzling invitation when one of the clues requires a knowledge of Bach’s repertoire.
While he sadly doesn’t appear onscreen, he is the voice behind the booming “dong” sound that rings on Miles’ island every hour. “He said the word ‘dong,’ and we turned it into a musical note,” Johnson revealed at the Toronto Film Festival. Mashable points out that this isn’t Gordon-Levitt’s first audible Knives Out cameo. In the original film, he voices the crime show that Marta’s family is listening to at home.
Jeremy Renner and Jared Leto
These two don’t appear in Glass Onion IRL either, but they are frequently name-dropped as Miles stocks his island gathering with Jeremy Renner Hot Sauce and Jared Leto Hard Kombucha. One of the film’s minor mysteries is: What on Earth do those taste like?
Erica Gonzales is the Senior Culture Editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage on TV, movies, music, books, and more. She was previously an editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com. There is a 75 percent chance she’s listening to Lorde right now.
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