Star-studded. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery has a huge cast of stars announced as headliners, but the cameos are just as iconic, marking the final film for both the late Angela Lansbury and Stephen Sondheim.
In the murder mystery, Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) has virtual chats with several familiar faces, and his little group includes Lansbury and Sondheim, who play themselves.
Director Rian Johnson was thrilled to work with the legends. “I don’t want to blow it up too much, it’s just one little fun moment that they have,” the filmmaker told Entertainment Tonight earlier this month. “But what it meant for me, besides just how special it is to have both of them in the movie, it meant that I just got to spend 10 minutes with each of them to film this little moment.”
He was particularly excited to speak to Lansbury. She became a TV icon in Murder She Wrote as Jessica Fletcher, a murder mystery novelist who helped the police solve homicide cases. Before that, however, she earned accolades on Broadway, originating the role of Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, one of Sondheim’s musicals. Lansbury also was first to play Cora Hoover Hooper in Anyone Can Whistle, portrayed Rose in the first Broadway revival of Gyspy as well as Madame Armfeldt in a Broadway revival of A Little Night Music — all of which are Sondheim musicals.
“Getting to meet them, getting to tell Angela Lansbury what her work meant to me, telling her about watching the filmed version of Sweeney Todd that was on cable when I was a kid and how that really kind of started me loving musical theater… It felt like a very special privilege to get to do that,” Johnson added.
The actress died on October 11 at age 96.
“The children of Dame Angela Lansbury are sad to announce that their mother died peacefully in her sleep at home in Los Angeles at 1:30 a.m. today, Tuesday, October 11, 2022, just five days shy of her 97th birthday,” her family said in a statement obtained by Us Weekly at the time. “In addition to her three children, Anthony, Deirdre and David, she is survived by three grandchildren, Peter, Katherine and Ian, plus five great-grandchildren and her brother, producer Edgar Lansbury.”
Sondheim, meanwhile, died in November 2021 at age 91. Glass Onion was largely filmed in summer 2021.
Days after Lansbury’s death, Johnson was in disbelief at how lucky they were to have worked with the two legends. “They were so kind and so generous. We thought, my God, would either of them ever do it? We didn’t think they would. And both of them were so cool,” Johnson said at the London Film Festival via Deadline.
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Though Lansbury and Sondheim were certainly memorable, they’re far from the only cameos Glass Onion. Scroll down to see who appears briefly in the flick alongside stars Craig, Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr., Kathryn Hahn, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline and Dave Bautista.