‘Glass Onion’: How they filmed the sculpture-smashing scene

Warning: This story incorporates spoilers for “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.”

Peel again the layers of “Knives Out 2’s” titular glass onion, and what do you get?

Extra glass.

On the coronary heart of billionaire tech mogul Miles Bron’s (Edward Norton) garish Greek-island mansion lies a trophy room with dozens of glass statues as fragile because the ego and as clear because the motives of their nefarious proprietor. In “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” Miles is keen to point out off his shiny artwork assortment to his posse of morally corrupt pals after inviting them to a murder-mystery get together at his non-public Mediterranean property.

Whereas filming the follow-up to Rian Johnson’s 2019 whodunit on location in Greece, the star-studded forged needed to fastidiously navigate a minefield of breakable, summary figures painstakingly crafted by the movie’s manufacturing staff. Till, after all, it got here time to shoot the climactic scene by which Miles’ esteemed company flip towards him and smash his statue backyard to smithereens.

“At that point, it had been several months of us filming on this set where everyone is terrified, tiptoeing around these delicate glass structures on pedestals, not wanting to knock them over,” Johnson informed The Occasions final month on the Los Angeles premiere of “Glass Onion.”

“So everybody was so primed to want to smash that s—, I didn’t have to tell them anything. In fact, they were all kind of calling out, ‘I want that one,’ ‘I want to smash that one.’”

Jessica Henwick as Peg, left, Daniel Craig as detective Benoit Blanc and Janelle Monáe as Andi in “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.”

(John Wilson / Netflix)

The stunning second arrives shortly after the thriller movie’s denouement. To avenge the homicide of her equivalent twin, Helen (Janelle Monáe) presents the genuine bar serviette upon which her sister, Andi (additionally Monáe), penned the unique plan for Alpha Industries. In a determined transfer, Miles — who co-founded Alpha with Andi earlier than reducing her out of the corporate and persuading their mutual pals to testify in courtroom that he wrote the thought for Alpha on a serviette — units Helen’s solely shred of bodily proof on hearth.

Distraught and seemingly defeated, Helen retaliates by destroying a few of Miles’ private property. She begins by shattering one of many glass statues in his lair — then one other, and one other. Quickly the remainder of the vacationers — together with those that beforehand defended Miles and betrayed Andi below oath — take part.

In line with Leslie Odom Jr., who performs scientist Lionel Toussaint, the statue-breaking sequence was one of many final scenes they shot, “obviously, because we … couldn’t put that stuff back together.”

“That’s a communal primal scream,” he stated on the “Glass Onion” premiere. The forged members “fed off of each other. … And we were such a family by then. We really were dancing together. We really felt one another. … I was just trying to take that energy, receive and give.”

Madelyn Cline, who performs conservative YouTube character Whiskey, stated she channeled “everything that was pissing me off or has ever pissed me off” whereas destroying the glass sculptures.

“It felt like a rage room,” she stated. “It was kind of joyful to smash things and f— s— up. And I felt like that was really, really accurate to what our characters were going through and feeling, so I really leaned into that.”

If something, the appearing ensemble loved wrecking the statue set a bit of an excessive amount of.

“Once I actually tore them loose, it was actually a problem of slowing them down so it wasn’t over too quickly,” Johnson stated. “I’m like, ‘I know this is fun, but we have to time this out a little bit.’”

Producer Ram Bergman stated solely three copies of every determine existed, which considerably raised the stakes of every take.

“You were always nervous,” Bergman added. “‘Let’s make sure we get it right because after the third day, we won’t have any left.’ So to me that was the stress … because if we run out, we’re screwed.”

Inevitably, errors had been made.

Whereas rehearsing the chaotic sequence, Jessica Henwick — who performs Peg, the exhausted assistant/publicist of a problematic former cowl lady (Kate Hudson) — dropped her statue earlier than Johnson might say, “Action!”

As Johnson was blocking the scene, he instructed the actors to smash their statues on the rely of three — “and I just heard ‘1, 2, 3,’” Henwick stated, “and I threw it.”

Fortunately, one of many cameras occurred to catch her error, and that’s the shot they ended up utilizing within the film: “When I look — in horror — up, that’s me looking directly at Rian,” Henwick stated. “They cut just before I go, ‘I’m so f— sorry.’”

Restricted statue stock and Henwick’s blunder apart, the statue-smashing shoot went comparatively easily and served as a compelling lead-up to the Netflix movie’s explosive finale.

“Luckily Janelle and everybody else got it right,” Bergman stated. “And I think we have a few [statues] left as well, so we did good. … I had no idea what it was going to be like in the movie. But when it happened, and everybody was really good … it’s a good feeling.”

Occasions viewers engagement editor David Viramontes contributed to this report.