There is an unbelievable number of cameos in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. You’re going to need a notebook to keep track of all the famous faces Rian Johnson stuffs into his whodunnit. One might say there are too many—nonsense! Each is more cleverly placed than the last.
There were just a few cameos in the OG Knives Out, including from some folks on this list, but Johnson has really upped the ante in his sequel film. Daniel Craig returns to star as famous private eye Benoit Blanc, and as a celebrity detective, he needs to have A-Lister friends. Plus, in this installment, Benoit cracks the case of a billionaire CEO’s attempted murder, meaning there’s even more name-dropping in the wealthy circle.
Though these aren’t really spoilers, if you want to be surprised by all the cameos (some are shocking), you may want to wait until after having seen the movie to read ahead. That being said, going into Glass Onion, it might be better to have an idea of who to look out for. Here’s everyone that pops up in the film, how they might be connected to Johnson, and what role they play.
Jeremy Renner, Anderson Cooper, and Jared Leto
Though they don’t actually appear in the film as themselves, this trio of seemingly unrelated celebs do rear their heads in Glass Onion. Anderson Cooper’s birthday party is a big clue in the mystery. Jeremy Renner’s hot sauce is a prop in the film. And everyone sips on Jared Leto’s kombucha during the film. (No, these aren’t real products. But Glass Onion ice cream is!)
Yo-Yo Ma is one of the first cameos in Glass Onion, making an appearance at Birdy’s (Kate Hudson) pandemic party. Be careful, Yo-Yo Ma! The cellist isn’t just plucking the strings, though—he also pops in to help Birdy solve one of the musical puzzles in the box Miles (Edward Norton) sends her.
Rian Johnson and Ethan Hawke are currently working together on The Whites, a Showtime limited series. But they also collaborated for a hot second in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. Hawke appears as the boat conductor for a quick beat, greeting our main characters as they journey off to the Glass Onion itself.
Though technically playing a character in the film, we’re counting Noah Segan as a cameo. The actor is a frequent collaborator with Johnson, even starring as a state trooper in the OG Knives Out. In the sequel, he stars as Derol, a random guy who resides at the Glass Onion, but isn’t really a part of the madness. More power to him.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is becoming a staple of the Knives Out universe, just like Daniel Craig. In the first film, the actor voiced “Detective Hardrock,” and in Glass Onion, he voices the hourly “dong” that echoes all over Miles’ mansion. Perhaps Gordon-Levitt wasn’t made to star as Jiminy Cricket, nor in rom-coms—this “dong” role is perfect for him.
Why watch Love Actually when Glass Onion is right there? Hugh Grant stars as Benoit Blanc’s lover—or, perhaps, just his domestic partner. We’re assuming it’s his husband. Johnson did confirm that Benoit is canonically gay, so when Grant opens the door to their apartment to welcome in Andi (Janelle Monáe), they seem to be married.
While in the bath, Benoit has a Zoom call with a quartet of folks. Natasha Lyonne is one of them, likely stemming from the fact that the Russian Doll star plays the lead in Johnson’s upcoming whodunnit Peacock series, Poker Face.
Legendary basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is also featured in the bathtub Zoom, though his connection to the movie and Johnson is unclear. Hey, if Benoit is as famous as everyone says he is, maybe this celeb connection isn’t so far off!
Composer Stephen Sondheim only has a handful of acting roles to his name on IMDb, and Glass Onion appears to be his final on-screen role. The Broadway legend passed away around a year ago, and Johnson has the perfect tribute in the form of his online Zoom group. RIP.
Along with Sondheim, Glass Onion features another posthumous appearance in the Zoom scene. Murder, She Wrote star Angela Lansbury appears alongside Sondheim, Abdul-Jabbar, and Lyonne on the video call. Speaking about both Sondheim and Lansbury, Johnson said in an interview, “For both of them, besides just the honor of having them in the movie, personally just being able to have 10 minutes with each of them to tell them what their work has meant to me was really special.”
Glass Onion features tennis legend Serena Williams in a brilliant cameo. The sports legend has been hired to teach fitness classes at the gym in the Glass Onion structure, appearing on a big video screen with her racket and tennis skirt. But it’s not just a pre-recorded video; Williams actually video calls in at a moment’s notice to help visitors with their tennis swings.
The Daily Beast