There’s a surprising connection between Rian Johnson’s ‘Knives Out’ universe and his upcoming new series “Poker Face”, led by Natasha Lyonne.
The new Peacock series, which revolves around Lyonne’s character Charlie Cale, “a human lie-detector whose circumstances throw her into murder-mystery-solving mode each week,” as Variety describes, happens to be connected to Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig)- the main character of Johnson’s films “Knives Out” and “Glass Onion”.
In the sequel “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”, which premiered in theatres in November, Lyonne makes a cameo as herself and is included in a five-way Zoom call with her fellow mystery-loving friends Blanc, Stephen Sondheim, Angela Lansbury and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. During the call, the real-life stars try to help Blanc get out of his current state of depression.
“You ready for a real kind of reality twist? So, in the cameo in ‘Glass Onion’, she’s playing herself — but she’s in hair and makeup as Charlie in her trailer in between setups on the set on the set of ‘Poker Face,’”Johnson explained to Variety. “So, in the world of ‘Glass Onion’, ‘Poker Face’ is a show that his friend Natasha is shooting. It’s a twisted web that we weave.”
As for how the real-life actress’ friendship came to be with the fictional character, Lyonne provided some insight.
“Here’s the thing: Benoit Blanc needs friends, too. I get it. It’s a lonely life, to quote Bette Davis,” she told Variety. “Maybe I am just the type of Hunter S. Thompson figure he would be friends. Gosh, I don’t know, but I like it!” I also feel like I’m not friends with enough fictional characters in real life, so it’s a relief for me to hear that Rian has crafted this friendship. I’m not sure exactly how it works, like, can I call him? Where is the line?”
While the “Knives Out” franchise includes a star-studded cast, the first season of “Poker Face” already has a number of high-profile celebs who’ve been cast on the show including Adrien Brody, Charles Melton, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Judith Light, Chloë Sevigny, Dascha Polanco, Ellen Barkin, Hong Chau, Jameela Jamil, Luis Guzmán, Ron Perlman, Simon Helberg and Stephanie Hsu among others.
“The casting process on these was insane, frankly, because we were really trying to get a movie star every single episode, and that’s really hard,” Johnson shared. “There were plenty of actors where the schedule wasn’t going to work, we had them in mind or wanted to work with them and couldn’t figure it out. Maya Rudolph, I would have given my left arm to have in one of these episodes, but she was making her show at the time.”
Based on the stars Johnson wasn’t able to get on “Poker Face” season one, the series creator already has ideas for who he’d like to see play roles in potential future episodes.
“I’d love, at some point, to get my friend Jamie Lee Curtis in one of these. Hi, Jamie — if you’re reading this!” Johnson revealed. “But I’m astounded by the cast that we did get together. I sit back and I just look at these names and still can’t quite believe it. Hopefully we can keep the show going: Our object is to someday use every actor on the planet Earth, literally run out of actors.”
“Poker Face” debuts with four episodes on Peacock beginning January 26.