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All those ‘Glass Onion’ cameos, ranked

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Glass Onion‘s cast is the definition of star-studded. You’ve got Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, and of course, Daniel Craig presiding over it all as detective Benoit Blanc. However, the film takes on extra wattage when we factor in all its cameos.

Director Rian Johnson has assembled some of the finest stars of stage, screen, and sports to pop into Glass Onion for a fun few seconds of screen time. And what better way to celebrate the sheer number of Glass Onion‘s cameos than by ranking them? Granted, each cameo rocks, so I’m basically ranking them on a scale of “awesome” to “mind-blowing,” all while considering their surprise factor and their impact on the plot.

As always, spoilers abound, so if you don’t want the mystery of Glass Onion to be unfurled for you just yet, proceed with caution.

Honorable “mentions”: Jeremy Renner, Jared Leto, and Anderson Cooper

Do Jeremy Renner, Jared Leto, and Anderson Cooper officially cameo in Glass Onion? No. But they are name-dropped in fairly plot-significant ways. Jeremy Renner’s hot sauce is used to help fake Helen’s (Monáe) death; Jared Leto’s hard kombucha gives Helen the confidence she needs to investigate her twin sister Andi’s murder; and billionaire Miles Bron (Norton) uses Anderson Cooper’s birthday party as an excuse to cover up his crimes. Sure, they aren’t technically cameos, but they’re certainly honorable mentions.

7. Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke swoops into Glass Onion to spray an unknown substance in all of Miles’s guests’ throats before they step foot on his private island. The throat spray supposedly protects against or gets rid of any COVID, but we don’t know anything about what it is beyond that. As Hawke’s character (credited as “Efficient Man”) simply tells the guests: “You’re good.”

I’m always happy to see Hawke in anything, so don’t take his inclusion at the bottom of the list as a slight against him. Instead, it’s more of a slight against his character. You’re telling me that Miles has access to a miracle cure for COVID and isn’t spreading it around the world? He’s truly the worst. Honestly, so is Efficient Man for not blowing the whistle on this whole operation. Go forth, Efficient Man, and bring the COVID cure to the masses! Blast everyone in the throat if you have to.

6. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt — who was in Rian Johnson’s brilliant fast-talking teen noir Brick and Looper — returns for a Glass Onion cameo that is both hilarious and ultra-subtle. Did you catch it?

5. Noah Segan

Noah Segan at “Glass Onion” US Premiere.
Credit: John Wilson/Netflix

Like Gordon-Levitt, Noah Segan has a rich tradition of appearing in Johnson’s projects, including Brick, The Brothers Bloom, and even Johnson’s episode of Breaking Bad. Here, as chill interloper Derol, he damn near steals every scene he’s in with just a few lines.

4. Hugh Grant

While Glass Onion may not have recreated Knives Out‘s Chris Evans “sweater” moment, it did prompt a fit on my end when Hugh Grant appeared, aproned and lightly speckled with flour, in the film’s extended flashback sequence. Grant plays Phillip, Benoit Blanc’s partner, and based on his aproned attire, he’s either a great baker or he took up baking during quarantine. (To be fair, the two aren’t mutually exclusive.) Anyway, Grant’s not on-screen for long, but what a delight it is to see him in Benoit Blanc’s world.

3. Yo-Yo Ma

Imagine: You’re Rian Johnson, and you need someone to explain the musical concept of fugues to the audience. Who do you call? Well, how about world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma? Ma appears as one of Birdie Jay’s (Hudson) party guests at the start of the film. He gives us a crash course in fugues that ultimately helps Glass Onion‘s characters solve a crucial puzzle box. Plot-relevant, informative, and surprising? Now that’s what I call a great cameo. The only thing dragging this cameo down is that Ma is at a raging party in May of 2020. That’s a recipe for COVID disaster! Unless, of course, he has access to Ethan Hawke’s miracle spray cure. How deep does this whole thing go?

2. Serena Williams

The best thing about the Serena Williams cameo in Glass Onion is that at first you don’t know it’s a Serena Williams cameo. When you see Williams on a screen in Miles’s gym, your first thought might be, “Huh, that’s a neat Serena Williams screensaver.” But then she starts talking, asking Benoit and Andi if they want to work out. Turns out she’s on the clock, presumably as Miles’s personal trainer. Although from the looks of it, Miles is rarely around, so she spends most of her time reading. Honestly, she’s the GOAT, and she deserves to do whatever she wants — especially if whatever she wants is appearing in Glass Onion.

1. Angela Lansbury, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Stephen Sondheim, and Natasha Lyonne

Natasha Lyonne and Janelle Monáe toasting “Glass Onion.”
Credit: Emilio Madrid/Netflix

The award for best Zoom call of all time goes to Benoit Blanc’s Among Us Zoom call with actors Angela Lansbury and Natasha Lyonne, basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and composer Stephen Sondheim. Not only are all these people titans of their field, they also appear to be a perfect pandemic support system for Benoit. What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall for any of their Among Us games. Could you imagine Sondheim calling you “sus”? I would perish.

What makes this treasure trove of cameos so great isn’t just the legendary status of all those present on the Zoom call — it’s also the link each person has to the whodunnit genre. Lansbury is a staple of whodunnits, having played Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote and Agatha Christie heroine Miss Marple in The Mirror Crack’d. Sondheim co-wrote the mystery film The Last of Sheila with Anthony Perkins, which Johnson cited as an inspiration for Glass Onion. Abdul-Jabbar has co-written multiple books about Mycroft Holmes (Sherlock’s brother) with Anna Waterhouse, and Lyonne is set to star in Johnson’s whodunnit series Poker Face. There are layers to this incredible set of cameos. Hey, just like an onion!

Glass Onion is in theaters from Nov. 23 to Nov. 29, and streaming on Netflix Dec. 23.

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