Rian Johnson discusses Angela Lansbury’s Glass Onion cameo

Angela Lansbury (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment), Rian Johnson (Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Netflix)

Angela Lansbury (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment), Rian Johnson (Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Netflix)
Picture: AV Club

Last week everyone who has already had the privilege of seeing Rian Johnson’s Knives out successor Glass onion politely informed the internet that both Angela Lansbury and Stephen Sondheim make cameos in the film as himself, in which this is the last on-screen appearance of Lansbury after her death (it’s also Sondheim’s last on-screen appearance, but he wasn’t really known for being “on-screen” anyway). This weekend, during the London Film Festival, Johnson talked a bit about those cameos and how they came about.

As reported by Deadline, Johnson said that both Lansbury and Sondheim were “so kind and so generous”, and although he didn’t think they would be able to get either of them to agree to make the film, they were both ” so cool” about it. They apparently filmed Lansbury’s bit in her home, and Johnson said that Lansbury “didn’t understand much of the script” but had him “coach her through it.” He added that it was an honor to have them along Glass onion and getting the chance to tell them what their work meant to him, while Johnson noted that he told Lansbury that Bed knobs and broomsticks was his favorite movie.

The specifics of the cameos are being kept under wraps unless you just ask someone who’s already seen the movie, but they’re at least partially a payoff for a gag in Knives out when Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc takes a moment of downtime to throw in his headphones and listen to—and sing along to—Sondheim’s “Losing My Mind”. It’s a bit of a leap to go from that to “Benoit Blanc actually knows Stephen Sondheim”, but he’s supposed to be kind of famous in this universe (it’s a plot in the first film that The New Yorker published a piece about him and knowing who has or hasn’t read it is a clue to the mystery!).

Also at the London Film Festival press conference, Johnson mentioned that Netflix — which paid $450 million for two Knives out sequels-have made no creative interference on Glass onion. That’s probably a good sign, and it would be weird to pay a lot of money for something and then not trust the guy who makes the thing. He is also “excited”. Netflix was able to make some kind of deal with theater chainsalthough 600 screens across the country is not very many and some people may be three hours away from the nearest theater that will show Glass onion this Thanksgiving… but hey, a hearty “good for you” to anyone who lives in a major city. For the rest of us, Glass onion coming to Netflix on December 23rd.

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