Stephen Sondheim Is The Reason Rian Johnson Landed This Highly-Coveted Glass Onion Cameo

Stephen Sondheim was at the top of Rian Johnson’s Celebs ‘R Us wish list, and according to a report from The New York Times, all it took was a quick call between producer Ram Bergman and their agent Bryan Lourd to make it happen. “I swear, five minutes later, he emailed me: he’s going to do it,” says Bergman. Besides bragging that he secured one of the most revered names in American theater, Johnson has also noted that “Glass Onion” takes great inspiration from “The Last of Sheila,” the only murder mystery film Sondheim wrote for the screen.

Around the same time, Johnson really wanted to get “Murder, She Wrote” star Angela Lansbury as the fourth player. Rather than going through the same cycle, it turns out that Sondheim had the connection he needed. “I mentioned to him that we were trying to get Angela Lansbury. And he said, ‘Oh, Angie — I’m friends with her. Tell her I’m doing it. She’ll do it,'” says Bergman.

It probably didn’t take much convincing, given that among her lucrative film and television career, the Tony Award-winning actress played Mrs. Lovett during the original Broadway run of “Sweeney Todd,” which was written by Sondheim. Even though “Glass Onion” marks their final screen appearances, as their cameos were filmed prior to their fairly recent deaths, it was wonderful to see the pair share the Zoom call. Lansbury didn’t even have to learn about how to play “Among Us” in order to be the delightful presence she always was.

“Glass Onion” is currently streaming on Netflix.

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