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Glass Onion Director Explains Hugh Grant’s Cameo

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery had a star-studded cast of characters, but Hugh Grant’s unexpected cameo made director Rian Johnson particularly excited. Netflix’s sequel to the 2019 whodunit mystery film brought back Daniel Craig’s master detective Benoit Blanc to solve a new crime with a new cast of potential suspects. Eclectic tech billionaire Miles Bron, played by Edward Norton, and his group of friends, played by Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline, Kate Hudson, and Dave Bautista, were the subjects of Blanc’s newest investigation.

In an interview with Empire’s Spoiler Special podcast (via Collider), Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery director Rian Johnson explained the backstory behind Hugh Grant being one of the actors to cameo in the Knives Out sequel. Johnson said choosing an actor to play Blanc’s partner in the film didn’t take long, with Grant’s name immediately coming to mind as the actor who would bring the director the most joy to cast in the role of Phillip. He speculated that Phillip could have a professional relationship with Blanc, similar to Sherlock Homes and John Watson, but added that he likes the idea of them having their own separate careers. Check out Johnson’s full comments on Grant’s cameo below:

Rian Johnson is known for his cameos, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt in both main and small roles in his various films, so it wasn’t surprising that Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery had some surprise appearances. After the first Knives Out, many viewers speculated about Benoit Blanc’s personal life, with the scene of Blanc doing his work in the bathtub presenting an opportunity for the film to flesh out the Knives Out universe. Johnson previously stated that he pushed back at the idea of having a prequel film to Knives Out that showed Blanc’s backstory, instead opting to give audiences a glimpse into the Southern sleuth’s personal life in films that take place after the original. The director’s plan was, instead, to put action into the sequel.

The decision proved to be funny and insightful, with a flustered Grant emerging from the kitchen wearing an apron in the middle of making sourdough bread in the Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery opening. Sourdough starter kits were popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, adding some relatable humor to the scene. Johnson teased that Grant’s profession likely pays for much of the couple’s expenses, with the idea of Benoit Blanc’s detective work being a hobby that isn’t very lucrative adds another layer to the viewers’ understanding of the beloved mystery-solver. This, in turn, helps characterize Blanc, as it could suggest that he is doing detective work to help others and not just for the money.

The Knives Out series’ small cameos seem to add to the fun on set, and it usually translates to the viewing experience, as well. Rian Johnson has stated that he has plans on making more installments in Benoit Blanc’s detective saga for Netflix, so long as he and Daniel Craig are still having fun making them. Grant playing Phillip in an important role in Blanc’s personal life could lead to his return in future films, but Johnson’s comments indicate that would only happen if it was good for the story. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery started to do some work to make the universe feel more rich and lived-in, and the sequel is the first of multiple follow-up projects, which will likely lead to more cameos.

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