Knives Out Trivia: 9 Surprising Facts About the Film

Knives Out - Daniel Craig and Ana De Armas

Released in 2019, Knives Out gave a new lease of life to the murder mystery genre with its sharp dialogue, refreshing plot and star-studded cast. Daniel Craig’s celebrated southern detective Benoit Blanc is called in to investigate the murder of a famous mystery writer, but all is not what it seems! 

Here are 9 awesome facts about the film… 

1) Harlan is older than his mother

K Callan plays Greatnana Wanetta in the film – the mother of Harlan Thrombey, who is played by Christopher Plummer. Surprisingly, she’s actually six years younger than Plummer. Whilst Plummer was born in 1929, Callan was born in 1936. 

2) Chris Evans had to tone down the swearwords in Knives Out

At the reading of the will, Ransom (played by Chris Evans) was originally scripted to tell everybody in his family, ‘f**k you’. Having a change of heart, though, director Rian Johnson decided he wanted to aim for a PG-family rating along the lines of the murder mystery movies he’d watch as a kid, so he got Chris Evans to say, ‘eat shit’ instead.

3) It was Don Johnson’s idea to hand Marta the plate 

When the family is arguing about immigration, Don Johnson’s character Richard calls over to Marta to ask her opinion on it. He then hands her his empty plate, as if she’s the maid. 

4) M Emmet Walsh was brought in last minute

The role of the Thrombey estate’s security guard was originally given to Ricky Jay. However, the actor sadly died during production, without finishing filming for the part, and so they handed the role to M Emmet Walsh. 

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5) The secret behind Benoit Blanc’s piano tapping

During the police interview scenes at the start of the film, Daniel Craig’s detective, Benoit Blanc, is seated in the background next to a piano. He taps on one of the keys at seemingly random points in the conversation. However, every time he taps a key, the next question asked by Lieutenant Elliott is always ‘What time did you arrive at the house?’ Tapping the key is Blanc’s signal for the Leiutenant to ask that question. 

6) Jaeden Martell ad-libbed his best line 

After the will is read and the family starts to turn on Marta, Jacob (played by Jaeden Martell’ shouts out,’ you had sex with my grandpa you dirty anchor baby!’ It wasn’t in the script; Jaeden Martell improvised the line. However, on the first take, it was hardly noticed and was lost behind all the loud voices. Michael Shannon, who plays Jacob’s dad in the film, said to Rian Johnson, ‘Jaeden’s got a killer line,’ and they made sure he got to say it clearer in future takes.

7) ‘Memento mori’ appears a lot in Knives Out 

The phrase, ‘memento mori’ appears on a lot of artwork throughout the Thrombey house. It translates to, ‘remember you are mortal.’ This phrase was used frequently during the Victorian period as a reminder that – whether you are rich or poor – death will find you eventually. 

8) Blanc’s southern accent 

When Craig was finding the right voice for the character of Benoit Blanc, he found inspiration in the novelist and historian Shelby Forte. Forte’s deep southern voice and slight whistling lisp made it into Craig’s performance.

9) The film led to a James Bond casting 

Daniel Craig loved his onscreen chemistry with Ana De Armas so much that he suggested her for the role of Paloma – the main Bond girl in No Time To Die, the upcoming 007 movie. 

There you have it – 9 pieces of Knives Out trivia.

Knives Out trailer