After premiering at TIFF ’22 to rousing reception including a second-runner-up placing for the coveted People’s Choice Award, the release of the follow-up to 2019’s KNIVES OUT is before us. Sweeping us away to scenic Greece, this latest installment GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY promises all the style, charm and delight of its predecessor but yet a completely new experience and characters.
While star Daniel Craig who reprises the role of Detective Benoit Blanc once again here, was unwell for today’s international Press Conference, we had the pleasure of hearing Writer/Director Rian Johnson and the Cast speak about this exciting release arriving on Netflix in time for the Holidays. Joining us were:
Edward Norton – Miles Bron Janelle Monáe – Cassandra Bran Kathryn Hahn – Claire Debella Kate Hudson – Birdie Jay Leslie Odom Jr. – Lionel Toussaint Jessica Henwick – Peg Madelyn Cline – Whiskey Rian Johnson (Writer-Director) Ram Bergman (Producer)
Rian Johnson talks about the wonderful experience of creating 2019’s KNIVES OUT and the task of creating an equally-brilliant followup.
Johnson: “It was challenging, but also when Daniel and I were making the first one – we were on-set having such a great time. Even if it does moderately well, it will be fun to keep making these. But the mode we were working in, was not to continue the story of the first one, but to treat them like Agatha Christie treated her books. To do an entirely new mystery every time, a new location, a new Rogues’ Gallery of characters. Anyone who really knows her work, knows she really shook it up book to book, it’s not just a change of Whodunit, it was a change of genre and throwing crazy narrative spins that had never been done before. She was really keeping the audience on their toes. Let’s come up wth something truly different and make audiences say, ‘Wow! I’m getting the same pleasure as the first one but I’ve never seen this before!'”.
We learned from the Cast that the first ever table read took place at Daniel Craig‘s house where he greeted the Cast in a salmon-coloured shirt and Espadrilles! Johnson tells us about creating magic through his talented Ensemble.
Johnson: “It’s as simple as getting the best Actors you possibly can get. My head spins when I think we were able to get this group together. There’s also the added element of it’s a little bit like throwing a dinner party. It is an Ensemble, we know we’re going to be on-location together and kind of be stuck together for a while. You’re also trying to cast cool people who are hopefully going to get along and have a good time together.”.
Kate Hudson, who plays former Supermodel-turned Fashion Designer Birdie Jay, tells us about chasing the much-sought-after chance to work with Johnson.
Hudson: “I chased Rian. I was slipped the Script and we knew the part was to be cast. I was like, ‘Get me in the room. Rian said ‘Come and let’s see what you can do with Birdie’, and I did my best and that best seemed to find me here.”.
Kathryn Hahn plays Claire Debella, Governor of Connecticut and equates the experience of working on this Sequel, to being in a theatre ensemble.
Hahn: “It goes back to a sense of egolessness among these humans. We did get to and have to spend every single day really together. It felt like there was a backstage and an onstage. We had these holding areas where we were all together and ate our lunches together for the most part. It felt very much like we were in a theatre ensemble. It did have that kind of grace. Rian was able to find a group of humans who had that – and that is really rare. A group of people who were able to just be there for the thing. And also starting with Daniel who had been through the experience before and was there with such a welcoming generosity of spirit for every single person. There were so many shots where the camera was on one person but I wish you could turn it around to see everyone crowded around for someone’s reaction shot, which was pretty remarkable and hilarious.”.
Leslie Odom Jr. having starred on Broadway’s “Hamilton” is no stranger to working with a tight-knit Ensemble and also speaks highly of the experience working on GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY. He stars as Lionel Toussaint, a Scientist who works for Edward Norton‘s Billionaire Miles Bron.
Odom: “This is one of the best Ensembles. It’s really an impossible thing to achieve without leadership. It happens from top-down. You can’t lead from the bottom or middle of all sheet. It’s really Rian, Daniel and Ram making it creative, persmissive and fun.”.
Norton also has fond memories working with the Cast.
Norton: “When someone like Rian calls and says ‘I’m basically gonna run a summer camp for deeply-unserious people, I need people willing to ham it up’ – it was printed in the invite. I do think when you’re with a group of people and it becomes apparent the words ‘repetitive’ and ‘boring’ have never applied to any of them, it’s a lot of fun. I do think the experience of a summer theatre troupe is for a lot of us who came into this from theatre or the idea of being from a repertory company or an Ensemble, it has a special pleasure. It reminds you have your high school drama club for those of us who were dorky enough. There’s a funny irony to making films or doing theatre, it’s a bunch of adults playing dress-up pretending to be other people and it’s amazing how much seriousness we layer over that. When you liberate yourself from any pretention to be doing anything other than entertaining the audience and yourselves, it’s incredibly wonderful. And after a year and half in your pyjamas, it’s especially great.”.
Janelle Monáe dazzles as Cassandra “Andi” Brand, unlike any other role she’s ever played before. Her character is on the outs with her old group of friends and she tells us about preparing for the role.
Monáe: “I am a fan of everybody on this stage. Being able to work with Rian is a dream. I literally told myself if I ever had the opportunity, it’s a ‘yes’. After reading the Script, it was a ‘hell yes!’. This is a character you get to play with. So many layers, so mysterious. It took a lot of focus and there were moments where the Cast was out having a blast after they did their scenes and maybe I was in a corner upset, jealous, mad! No, no, no, I wasn’t! We’re in a murder mystery parties outside of filming a murder mystery and we’re in Greece, what can I complain about? I got an opportunity to grow as an Actor and also gained what I like to say is family.”.
Jessica Henwick stars as Peg, Birdie‘s Assistant and comments on Monáe‘s incredible fashion at said murder mysteryparties and dinners.
Henwick: “It was amazing. It was a guaranteed serve. If Janelle was coming to dinner, it was gonna be a look and everyone else was underdressed.”.
Madelyn Cline who plays Whiskey, recalls finding-out she was joining this star-studded Ensemble.
Cline: “I was landing in New York – you know when you get close enough to the ground and everyone’s phone starts pinging, and got a message from Rian, ‘Would you have time for a call?’. I panic. He’s gonna tell me I didn’t get it. So I said, ‘In an hour’ and had to prepare myself. I was huddled in a corner at baggage claim when Rian asked if I wanted to be a part of it. Is that even a question? Of course I do! I proceeded to have best weekend of my life. So cheers to that!”.
The Cast also comment on Craig‘s phenomenal work.
Hudson: “For me, just watching Daniel work was a privilege. He is a consummate professional. He shows-up ready to deliver every line. He honours Rian‘s word. Just to be a part of that and learn from that was really something”.
Hahn: “His Physical Comedy I’m just floored by. His control of his body and how he throws himself into this part physically is something I was so excited to watch. He really is a gamer in that department.”.
The Cast also comment on the fashion and whom they thought had the best costumes in the Film.
Norton: “Definitely Kathryn.”.
Hudson: “That beige rack was solid”.
Norton: “In the wardrobe room, they often have Polaroids of those who have been in before you. I hadn’t met anybody and I looked at the Polaroid wall and thought this Movie is gonna be really funny. I saw Dave Bautista in the crocodile skin bikini and thought there will be at least one good laugh in this Film!”.
Hudson: “Every time Kathryn walked in with a new beige, it was so deeply funny. That is the genius of Rian‘s writing. But Jenny (Eagan) creating each iconic look was so dreamy and the fittings I think for all of us after talking about it so much, when we walked into Jenny‘s fitting, immediately you saw your character come to life, stepping right into the character. Everyone had that and Jenny was a real dream to work with.”.
GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY is in select theatres November 23, 2022 and arrives December 23, 2022 on Netflix.