Warning: Light spoilers ahead for Glass Onion.
Knives Out was a smash-hit in 2019, so it’s no wonder that so many big names jumped at the chance to be included in its sequel, Glass Onion—especially if it included a ticket to the islands of Greece where the movie filmed. In addition to new cast members Kathryn Hahn, Janelle Monáe, Dave Bautista, Edward Norton, and Kate Hudson, Daniel Craig returns as Benoit Blanc, the world’s greatest detective. We find him stuck in quarantine during the pandemic with few real mysteries to solve. (And it turns out he’s not so skilled at solving mysteries in the online co-op games that dominated those first few months of the pandemic.)
But apparently he has a lot of famous friends, and many of the cameos come in the form of celebrities playing themselves as they Zoom with a bored Benoit. Other A-listers pop up as Benoit’s partner, a security guard, and an attendee at a fancy party. There’s even a voice-over cameo that would be impossible to notice if director Rian Johnson had not begun pointing it out in interviews.
Here are all the cameos you might have missed in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.
Angela Lansbury in Pasadena, Calif. in 2018
Frederick M. Brown—Getty Images
In perhaps the movie’s most poignant cameo, Angela Lansbury pops up on a video call with Benoit Blanc. Lansbury, the beloved star of Murder, She Wrote, died in October, so fans will be heartened to see her onscreen one last time. In the scene, Lansbury, Benoit, and a few other celebs are playing the popular pandemic game Among Us, a mystery that Benoit apparently sucks at despite his formidable real-life puzzle-solving skills. We will assume that Lansbury’s experience playing amateur sleuth Jessica Fletcher helped her become an Among Us champ.
Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim receives the Freedom of the City of London on September 27, 2018 in London, England
Tim P. Whitby—Getty Images—
The iconic composer and lyricist also makes a moving posthumous appearance in Glass Onion, also during the video chat scene. The movie may also be paying a winking tribute to Sondheim’s past work. He co-wrote his own star-studded whodunnit, The Last of Sheila, centered on a wealthy man who invites his friends to play a murder mystery game on a yacht, just as Edward Norton’s Miles Bron asks his friends to play such a game on his private island in Greece. Sondheim passed away in November of 2021.
Natasha Lyonne attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California on September 22, 2019.
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic—Getty Images
Actor Natasha Lyonne has also earned a coveted place on this star-studded video call. Most recently, Lyonne has been acclaimed for her Netflix series Russian Doll, in which her character must solve the mystery of how she became caught in a Groundhog Day-esque time loop. She’s also executive producing and starring in Rian Johnson’s first TV series, Poker Face, set to debut on Peacock on Jan. 26.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar attends the Los Angeles premiere of Apple’s “They Call Me Magic” on April 14, 2022 in Los Angeles, California
Rodin Eckenroth—Getty Images)
Famed basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is also playing Among Us with this host of other celebrities. How did this particular group of friends form? Does Abdul-Jabbar have secret, incredible detective skills? We’re desperate to know.
Hugh Grant in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con on July 21, 2022
Daniel Knighton—Getty Images for Paramount Pictures
Hugh Grant pops up for a minute in the movie when he answers the door to the apartment he shares with Benoit Blanc. The implication seems to be that Grant’s character and Blanc are romantic partners. We hope that means he’ll be popping up in future entries in the series. If not, we can at least appreciate Grant in an apron covered in flour, clearly picking up the pandemic baking trend.
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma plays with fellow musicians the Allegro of Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachmusik at on March 29, 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal
Horacio Villalobos—Corbis via Getty Images
The world-famous cellist was apparently spending his time in quarantine partying with Kate Hudson’s Birdie Jay, at least as Johnson imagines it. He pops up in her raucous, laughably large COVID social bubble at the beginning of the movie. He offers some helpful hints to Birdie and the rest of Miles Bron’s friends as they try to figure out the puzzle he has sent them containing an invitation to his island.
Ethan Hawke attends the “Leopoldstadt” Broadway opening night at Longacre Theatre on October 02, 2022 in New York City
Roy Rochlin—Getty Images
Ethan Hawke pops up briefly in Greece wearing sunglasses and a ponytail and looking very official. He plays a security consultant to Miles and zaps “medicine” in each of the guests’ mouths that somehow will protect them from contracting the coronavirus over the weekend. When Benoit and others repeatedly asks what’s in the spray, Hawke’s character just replies coolly, “You’re good.” Given what we learn about Miles at the end of the movie—that he’s actually, perhaps, an idiot—it’s definitely possible this substance was just sugar water. Hawke then disappears for the rest of the film. So glad he got a trip to Greece for one day of work. Live your best life, Ethan Hawke!
Joseph Gordon-Levitt at a screening of “A Forest Haunt” on April 28, 2022 in Los Angeles
Kevin Winter—Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter
Rian Johnson often includes longtime collaborator Joseph Gordon-Levitt in some capacity. He voiced the character Slowen Lo in The Last Jedi. In the original Knives Out, he voiced a character named Detective Hardock in an in-universe TV series watched by Ana De Armas’ character.
During a Q&A at the Toronto Film Festival, Johnson revealed that the hourly chime on the island is actually uttered by JGL. “That’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s cameo in the movie. He said the word ‘dong’ and we turned it into a musical note. Easter egg!”
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