Without doubt, Benoit Blanc appeared from nowhere in our lives, and it was a blessing. And that’s exactly what Daniel Craig, the man behind the accent, thinks the character should do. Speaking to Josh Horowitz on Happy Sad Confused, the actor has opened up about the profound impact the Southern detective has had on his life, while promoting Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery in which he reprises the role.
Horowitz asked Craig about Blanc simply turning up in places to help solves crimes, and asked if, like other actors, he wanted to fill in an elaborate backstory for the character, in order to give greater depth, which Craig dismissed.
“I think that’s important [that he just appears],” said Craig. “When I watched Peter Ustinov play Hercule Poirot, he sort of appeared from somewhere, solved the case, and went somewhere else. That mystery is important. He’s not the centre of attention. What Rian does so brilliantly, he casts it so brilliantly so we have other people surrounding him that we want to watch. Benoit’s job is to wrangle them. He should be an enigma. I don’t need to know what he was up to when he was 12. I’m happy for people to just make up his life, I’m good.”
Craig further elaborated on the good fortune that befell him by ending up with the role, which came to him just as he was wrapping up a near-two decade run as James Bond and admitted he couldn’t believe his luck at getting such a meaty role immediately after concluding Bond. Admitting that it was a dream to return to the role, he stated that the chance to come back for sequels simply wouldn’t happen if audiences didn’t enjoy the movie.
“I can’t believe my luck, I spent 17 years of my life doing that other thing [Bond] which has been glorious and wonderful, and for this role to fall into my lap, I couldn’t have expected it. I need to thank Rian for his faith in me, and I read the script for Knives Out and laughed my head off, and then here we are at number 2. Number 3? We’ll see. We didn’t know this would be an ongoing character, there was a day where we had a fantasy of ‘where will we go next?’ and I said ‘somewhere warmer.’ It was purely fantasy at that time, we were too long in the tooth to make those predictions. If you fail, you don’t get another one. That’s how it works.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is now streaming on Netflix. You can check out our chat with Craig and Johnson down below.