Glass Onion debuted on Netflix on December 23, and audiences jumped at the chance to finally watch Benoit Blanc’s next mystery. Daniel Craig reprised his role as the brilliant detective, joined by a new ensemble cast of A-listers, including Edward Norton, Janelle Monaé, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, and Dave Bautista.
It’s a who’s who of talent that Rian Johnson assembled for Glass Onion. However, the film also includes several unexpected cameos that surely left audiences grinning. And while they are all memorable in their own way, some are more surprising and hilarious than others.
Jeremy Renner & Jared Leto
Two-time Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner and Oscar-winner Jared Leto don’t appear in Glass Onion physically. However, their likeness appears on two products that play major roles in the storyline. Renner shows up on the hot sauce Helen uses to fake her death, while Leto appears on the kombucha that gets her drunk.
The actors’ images are well-known to general audiences, and the products Johnson chooses for each go along perfectly. Having Leto as the image of a kombucha drink is especially funny, especially when it plays such a crucial role in increasing the group’s already chaotic dynamic. Helen’s line about beating Leto up for his unexpectedly dangerous drink is the icing on the cake.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is no stranger to working with Rian Johnson. The actor appeared in Johnson’s directorial debut, Brick, before starring in his first big-budget production, Looper. Gordon-Levitt did a voice cameo for the first Knives Out, voicing Detective Hardrock, and returns for Glass Onion to voice the Hourly Dong, Miles’ talking clock.
Because Gordon-Levitt hardly says anything while voicing the clock. In fact, he only says “DONG,” meaning few, if any, audience members will identify him as the voice behind the talking clock. However, it’s a fun tidbit of information and the confirmation that the friendship between Gordon-Levitt and Johnson is still going strong.
World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma cameos in Glass Onion as a guest at Birdie’s hectic party. He helps Birdie recognize a song — Bach’s “Little” Fugue in G minor — playing on the speakers after Shazam lets her down.
A Julliard and Harvard graduate, Yo-Yo Ma has won 19 Grammy Awards and has been a United Nations Messenger of Peace for more than fifteen years. His intervention in Glass Onion is brief but effective and speaks to the kind of varied talent Johnson includes in his movies. It also adds to Birdie’s characterization, cementing her as an influential figure in the NYC cultural and artistic scene.
Four-time Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke has been acting for decades, always bringing his A-game to every performance. The acclaimed actor cameos in Glass Onion as one of Bron’s assistants, credited as the Efficient Man, who inoculates Blanc and the other guests before taking them to Bron’s private island.
Hawke’s intervention is short but memorable. He makes for a perfectly mysterious figure, charmingly convincing the guests to go along with something they have no control over. The brief role takes advantage of Hawke’s natural charm to make audiences go along with the Efficient Man’s act without questioning what he’s doing, much like the guests themselves.
Stephen Sondheim, Natasha Lyonne, Angela Lansbury, & Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
One of the funniest moments in Knives Out sees Benoit Blanc alone in a car, singing “Losing my Mind,” a Broadway standard from Stephen Sondheim‘s seminal musical Follies. The scene showcases Daniel Craig’s versatility as an actor and reveals a sillier side to Blanc’s character, which fans see more of in Glass Onion.
The film reveals that Blanc has found solace during the pandemic by playing Among Us with a remarkable group of celebrity friends: Sondheim, Natasha Lyonne, Angela Lansbury, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Their scene finds them explaining to Blanc the rules of the game and trying to get him out of his pandemic funk — Blanc spends a ridiculous amount of time in the tub. It’s a fun and heartwarming exchange between the detective and his inner circle and a brilliant use of the group. This would be Sondheim and Lansbury’s last on-screen roles, giving the scene a bittersweet touch.
World-famous tennis champion Serena Williams plays herself during one of Glass Onion‘s funniest scenes. She appears as an interactive instructor in Miles Bron’s home, who briefly interacts with Blanc and Helen Brand as they share their findings after spending some time on the island.
Williams’ role is everything a cameo should be: brief, surprising, and hilarious. Her presence highlights how much of a pathetic poser Bron is, willing to waste his money and Williams’ time just because he can. Williams’ interaction with Blanc and Helen is also funny as heck, with her no-nonsense attitude taking the already startled pair by surprise.
Hugh Grant is one of the most beloved actors in the industry. His lengthy career has taken him from romantic leading man to wacky character actor, and he’s delivered some of his best performances in the last few years. Grant cameos in Glass Onion as Phillip, Benoit Blanc’s domestic partner.
It’s great that Glass Onion confirms Blanc as gay. What’s more, having Grant play his partner is an inspired choice, bringing two of the UK’s most respected actors together for what will surely be a wonderful dynamic. There’s no way Grant doesn’t return for Knives Out 3, perhaps as part of the mystery itself. Grant should’ve played a Bond villain during Craig’s stint, but at least audiences can see them as a delightful and very English couple when the third part of the series premieres.