How Daniel Craig Helped Create Subtle Glass Onion Character Hint
Rian Johnson’s script breakdown of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery demonstrates how Daniel Craig helped to create subtle character hints in the murder-mystery film. The standalone sequel to Johnson’s 2019 film Knives Out brings back central detective Benoit Blanc (Craig) and puts him on an island with tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton). Bron has created an elaborate murder mystery game for his friends, but in a twist that comes early in Glass Onion, Blanc solves the puzzle before the fake murder even takes place.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Johnson breaks down Glass Onion’s murder mystery game scene, including one moment that he and Craig came up with during rehearsal. In proving that Birdie was the murderer in Bron’s game, Blanc’s final piece of evidence comes when he declares that the locket hanging around Bron’s neck is the only piece of his outfit which doesn’t match his « breezy island style. » Johnson says that the line was crafted by Craig and is emblematic of his own directing style. Read Johnson’s full comment below:
“When I’m in the process of rehearsing with the actors, I am never precious about the words, actually. I’m precious about why the words are there. Most of the time, we end up just doing it as written, but if we can ever beat it, or find a little thing that makes sense and amplifies it, I always take joy in that.”
How Daniel Craig Influenced Benoit Blanc
Though Johnson’s directing is paramount for the success of the Knives Out franchise, Craig’s interpretation of Blanc is what has made the detective an iconic character. Johnson has said that initially, he regretted giving Blanc so many « quirks, » because Johnson struggled to find Blanc’s voice. He decided that whoever would be cast in the role of Blanc would work collaboratively with him to develop the character, and when Craig took on the role, that was precisely what happened.
Famously, one of the key differences between Johnson’s interpretation of Blanc and Craig’s was the detective’s Southern accent. One of the few things Johnson told Craig about the character was that Blanc was meant to have a “light southern drawl, » and Craig ultimately decided to give Blanc a much heavier, very-noticeable accent instead. The accent was so difficult to slip back into between Knives Out and Glass Onion that Craig needed to spend months with an accent coach just to re-learn it.
With Johnson giving his actors free rein to experiment with their characters, the collaborative effort between Johnson and Craig has seemingly contributed to Glass Onion’s massive success by making Blanc a memorable character audiences enjoy watching. Little improvised comments like Blanc’s about Bron’s style seem so throwaway, but are in fact incredibly relevant to the film and to making the characters come alive. With at least one more Knives Out film in the work at Netflix, which both Johnson and Craig have signed onto, there is hope that the sequel to Glass Onion will feature more of those impressive collaborative moments.