If you see a giant Daniel Craig floating next to Baby Yoda above Macy’s in New York City in the near future, it’s Rian Johnson’s fault.
Craig’s Southern detective Benoit Blanc is the murder-solving main man of the “Knives Out” mystery franchise written and directed by Johnson. Both the 2019 first film and the new sequel “Glass Onion” (in theaters now) hit around Thanksgiving, so Benoit is sort of the Santa Claus of Turkey Day.
“If at some point we have a Blanc balloon in the Thanksgiving Day Parade, I will be the happiest person on the face of the planet. It’s my goal in life,” Johnson says. “Having now said that out loud, Netflix will probably scramble and it’ll be there.”
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Craig, though, is a bit more questioning of this dream manifested. “I’ll be hiding if that ever happens,” the actor quips. “There are going to be far prettier balloons on the parade route than that one, that’s for sure.”
The Thanksgiving theatrical release of “Glass Onion” and the movie’s arrival Dec. 23 on Netflix (just in time for the real Santa) remind both Craig and Johnson of how they’d watch the all-star mysteries of the late 1970s and ’80s. – “Murder on the Orient Express,” “Evil Under the Sun” – with their loved ones growing up during the holidays. “Giving that experience to families today is a big driving purpose for making this set of movies,” Johnson says.
Blanc’s latest killer case in “Glass Onion,” which centers on a tech billionaire (Edward Norton) and his friends (including Kate Hudson, Kathryn Hahn and Leslie Odom Jr.), is already on the Thanksgiving “agenda” for co-star Janelle Monáe. “We are going to see this movie as a family,” she says. “Everybody is going to be able to come together around this film, and laugh and be entertained and try to solve it.”
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Other cast members have their holiday menu top of mind. Hahn’s family is in Ohio “so I love a green bean casserole,” she says. “We still, for some reason, also need to have the cranberry sauce out of the can, with the ridges.”
Hudson is usually on dessert duty making pies but this year, “I’m going to be on a plane from London back to my family (after) promoting this awesome film,” she says. For her family’s Thanksgiving festivities, “we talk about gratitude. We drink a lot. We watch football.”
One tradition that stands out in her mind from when she was a kid was her grandmother’s congealed salad that Hudson called “green mold.” “It was so disgusting,” she says. “It was literally like something out of the 1950s, with fake pineapple chunks and canned cherries. Delicious.”
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More scrumptious-sounding – and a Hudson tradition Hahn now plans on stealing – is a culinary game that comes from the family of Hudson’s fiancé, Danny Fujikawa. Everyone gets a little jam jar, puts in heavy whipping cream and shakes it vigorously, and the first person who turns theirs into butter wins. “Everybody brings different kinds of breads,” Hudson says, “and then we have all this butter.”
It’s also going to be the first holiday home for Hudson’s son Ryder, a freshman at New York University.
“He’s really excited, but he’s also just having the best time. I’m loving watching him thrive right now,” Hudson says of the 18-year-old, who’s studying film, music and visual arts. “I’m getting to meet all these young kids and I’m like, ‘Just so you know, I will be available when you guys are starting to make movies for the mother (role).’ ”
“Yeah, totally. Me, too,” Hahn chimes in. “Pass my resume along.”
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