An Accident On The Set Of Glass Onion Made It Into The Movie

Actress Jessica Henwick accidentally broke a sculpture on set, but the Glass Onion cameras were rolling, keeping the shot in the final cut of the movie.

By TeeJay Small | Published

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It turns out, when you peel back the layers of a glass onion, it shatters. Rian Johnson‘s latest entry into the Knives Out film series, Glass Onion, features a key scene in which Jessica Henwick mistakenly shattered a glass sculpture. In the final cut of the film, Henwick’s character can be seen dropping the massive glass wheel on the ground, before turning her shocked expression into the camera.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Johnson explained “We only have one of these [Glass wheels]. …She drops it and then looks right into the camera and does this [makes a shocked face]. We had started the camera just to practice the thing. She broke it and then looked right in the camera. That’s the take that’s in the movie.”

The highly cathartic climax of Glass Onion features multiple glass sculptures being shattered, all of which were made for the film using sugar glass, and chosen specifically by the actors to smash when the scene was shot. Leslie Odom Jr, who plays Lionel Toussaint in the film, explained to Entertainment Weekly that everyone in the cast chose their piece in anticipation for the highly satisfying moment. When Jessica Henwick prematurely dropped her glass wheel, she broke into a cold sweat, expecting the crew to be mad that she had ruined the shot, even explaining that she still has nightmares from the experience.

Glass Onion wouldn’t be the first film to feature a mistakenly broken prop in the final cut. Kurt Russel famously smashed a priceless 145 year old guitar in the 2018 film The Hateful Eight instead of the designated prop guitar, and Leonardo DiCaprio continued filming through an accidental injury he sustained breaking his hand on a drinking glass in Django Unchained, smearing his actual blood across Kerry Washington’s face. The glass wheel in Glass Onion was luckily custom made to break safely, so nobody was in danger of being cut when the prop shattered on set.

Jessica Henwick in Glass Onion

Rian Johnson is of course a visionary filmmaker who had prepared for such an outcome, and ensured the camera was rolling, ultimately using the take in the final cut because he loved it so much. The moment functions perfectly within the context of Glass Onion, which has many sweeping dramatic moments, often punctuated with a humorous response, such as Henwick’s shocked expression. Perhaps we’ll see even more reckless wreckage in Netflix’s planned third film in the Knives Out anthology.

Among the many sugar glass props the cast could choose to destroy in the climactic Glass Onion scene, many of the items were Easter eggs and references to famous Beatles lyrics, including a strawberry, referencing “Strawberry Fields.” Henwick confessed during her round table appearance that the giant wheel wouldn’t be her only faux pas regarding a glass prop, as she revealed she had stolen the strawberry from the set and taken it home as a memento when production wrapped. Surely she’s just relieved that the item made it home in one piece.

Glass Onion premiered in a limited theater run before becoming available to stream on Netflix on December 23rd, with Rian Johnson pushing for a wider theatrical release. The film has opened to excellent reviews and critical acclaim, leaving more room to develop the third installment in the series into a box office smash when it finally arrives. After having a hand in some of the most controversial installments in both the Breaking Bad and Star Wars franchises, it seems Rian Johnson has created a series universally praised, and we can’t wait to see what he’s got in store for us next.