Rian Johnson on Teaching Angela Lansbury ‘Among Us’ for ‘Glass Onion’ Cameo: ‘Very Patient, but Not a Gamer’

The filmmaker had nothing but good things to say about directing the "Murder, She Wrote" star in her final film appearance.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 09:  Actress Angela Lansbury attends the 25th Anniversary screening of "Beauty and the Beast": A Marc Davis Celebration of Animation at Samuel Goldwyn Theater on May 9, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
Angela Lansbury
Getty Images

From the moment the cast was announced, movie lovers knew that “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” would be a star-studded affair. Rian Johnson’s murder mystery sequel featured an A-list cast of suspects for Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc to investigate, including Edward Norton, Janelle Monae, Kathryn Hahn, and Dave Bautista. But once the film began streaming on Netflix, fans quickly learned that it featured surprise celebrity cameos at almost every turn.

One memorable scene features Blanc playing the video game “Among Us” on Zoom with several famous murder mystery aficionados, including Stephen Sondheim and Angela Lansbury (who both made their final on-screen appearances in the scene).

In a recent interview with the New York Times, Johnson and producer Ram Bergman opened up about working with the two nonagenarians.

“She couldn’t have been lovelier and more generous,” Johnson said of Lansbury, though he noted that the video game-centric scene was complicated by the fact that the actress was “not a gamer.”

“She was very patient in letting me describe the rules of ‘Among Us,’ up to a point,” he continued. “At which point she just said, ‘You know what? Just tell me what the lines are. I’ll trust you.’”

Lansbury played one of the most iconic television detectives of all time on “Murder, She Wrote,” but landing Sondheim was just as big of a win for the production team. The Broadway composer was famous for his love of mysteries, and he wrote the whodunnit film “The Last of Sheila,” which Johnson cited as an inspiration for “Glass Onion.”

“I wasn’t really sure how to get to him. But then I was on a call with Bryan Lourd, our agent, and it somehow came up,” Bergman said. “I said, we really would love Stephen to do this. And I swear, five minutes later, he emailed me: he’s going to do it.”

Johnson might be an A-list director who has worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, but that didn’t stop him from being intimidated by the two legends.

“I allowed myself to have that little awkward moment of saying to them what I’m sure every person who meets them says,” he said. “But still, it felt really nice to tell them that I wouldn’t be here doing this if it weren’t for them.”

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