In a film featuring a (in some cases literal) killer row of movie-star performances, the character “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” that’s gotten the most ink since its Dec. 23 premiere on Netflix is Derol, the Corona-toting slacker who’s only briefly in a few scenes. Appear – but steal each of them. Played by Noah Segan, who has appeared in every Rian Johnson film to date, Derrol took on a life of his own, even becoming beloved in the realm of murder-mystery action, and perhaps because of that, a meme.
As inconsequential as the character may be to the film’s tightly wound plotting apparatus, Johnson says he imbued Deroll with significance in every scene. “[Derol] “Just kind of started out as a comic runner throughout the whole thing,” Johnson says. “And then weirdly, as comic runners tend to do, it became more weirdly important.” Inspired by the “Kato Kailins of the World,” hanger-on who’s rich Or important people who don’t seem to be part of groups but are always around, he says the character creates a fun unpredictability that keeps the audience off balance. “I think it’s actually quite important to have this bit of chaos in the middle of such a tightly wound story.”
After a series of collaborations going back to Johnson’s first film, “Brick,” the filmmaker explained that he found himself adding more DeRoll to his films: “I’m also always looking for reasons to get one of my best friends, Noah Sagan, on set, and watching. It seemed like a pretty fun way to do it.”
Even if Segan could have predicted that he would get a role to play in Johnson’s film, he says he never expected it — in this case, after playing the highly visible Trooper Wagner in “Knife Out.” “There are no expectations between us other than we love being together and we love being together on set,” Segan said. “There’s always that hope of, you know, hey, what can I do? But I don’t have a clear picture of what I’m doing with Ryan until I read a script.”
“With ‘Glass Onion,’ Derol was clear that when I read it, I was like, Oh, now we’re getting a little meta here,” not only referring to the relationship between his character and eccentric billionaire Miles Bronn (Edward Norton). . ), but he and Johnson.
Although the character was played by one of the filmmaker’s oldest friends, he was inspired by — and named after — another: Daryl Fry. A friend of Johnson’s since junior high, Fry played Joseph Gordon-Levitt on “Brick” using his last name, Brendan Fry. The graphic designer and Santa Cruz resident said he was excited when Ryan hinted at what he might borrow for the “Knife Out” sequel.
“In April 2021, we were having a barbecue at my folks’ house and he took a picture of my shirt because I’m in a band called Little Petty and the Mean Old Men and I had this one-off shirt on. [of the band] That I made,” Fry remembers. “He was like, ‘I’m going to do a character in ‘Glass Onion’ called Deroll and Little Petty and The Mean Old Men are going to be his favorite band.” Despite Sagan’s pedigree as the shockingly stupid murder mystery superfan Trooper Wagner in “Knife Out,” Fry admits he was initially concerned about the public’s reaction to his on-screen proxy. “I found out that Noah was going to act with her. And I’m like, ‘Wait, are you going to make this guy a dork?
Frye says Johnson assured him that the character was “going to be the coolest guy in the movie,” though he admitted he shared — or at least shared — a few qualities with the fictional Derrol. “Whenever one of his movies came out, we all went to see them. Since I’m in Santa Cruz, I want to get my motorcycle right down [attend], because riding is no excuse. And then I’m like, ‘Okay dude, where do you live? I’m crashing on your couch.’ So maybe that’s part of it. And when we were younger, I had long hair, kind of hippie.”
“These days I always drink Mexican beer, so that might be part of it,” adds Fry, clarifying that the film departs from an important detail of his own drinking habits. “My beer of choice is Tecate, so it’s funny that Noah was hanging out with Corona.”
Johnson admitted that the hair was heavily inspired by Segan’s “Michael Landon-esque” locks from the time of Epidemic, but like the charismatic detective navigating these mysteries, he deliberately never came up with more details to explain Derroll’s behavior, much less exactly how he was Bron’s. Came to stay in a guest room on a private island. “There’s something fun about creating a character and finding out where he comes from.”
Meanwhile, Sagan says he hasn’t met the real Derroll, but he borrowed from what he heard about him from Johnson. “Derrol, from what I know, is a really fun-loving, entertaining life for party-type dudes,” Sagan says. “I really think that Ryan would name this character with that kind of impact and vibe that would be named after this guy who’s like a dear old friend of Ryan’s.”
Although he had some reservations about the character after attending the Los Angeles premiere, Fry said he later recognized how right Johnson was about Daryl’s presence in the film. “I saw the movie again when it came out in theaters that week, and I texted him again and I said, ‘You’re right. He was the best guy in the movie.’ After watching it a second time, I thought, ‘She definitely stole the show’.
After successfully transforming his longtime star for “Glass Onion,” Johnson admits he’s still not sure how he’ll reimagine Segan for their next collaboration. “It’s hard work ahead of me,” he said. Although he’s interested in working with Johnson again (and just did on the upcoming Peacock series “Poker Face”), Segan confirmed that they have yet to discuss what role he might play in the next film. “I don’t really know where he is in the process,” Sagan said. “And that’s because his process is incredibly cerebral. He makes it look so easy, because it’s happening in his head.”
“He actually sat down to type a screenplay really like the last step,” Sagan continued. “So one day he’ll tell you, ‘Hey, I sat down to start writing,’ and then a few weeks later, there’s a script, and it’s great.”
Conversely, even with another Benoît Blanc mystery on the horizon, Fry isn’t optimistic that Johnson will again borrow from his life for another character. “My middle name is ‘Dea,’ but I don’t think he’ll probably use that,” she says