Rian Johnson is loyal. Just ask his cousin Nathan Johnson, who composes his music, or Steve Yedlin, his cinematographer of choice, or Bob Ducsay, who has been his editor since Looper. Or ask Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who has acted in every one of Johnson’s films, although it may not be obvious at first glance. After starring in Brick, Johnson gave JGL a small uncredited role in The Brothers Bloom. He headlined again on “Looper,” and since then he’s had extremely hard-to-recognize cameos on each of Johnson’s subsequent blockbusters, which has become its own inside joke and Easter egg for audiences.
In The Last Jedi, Gordon-Levitt plays Slowen Lo, an alien named Abednedo who appears in the Canto Bight sequence. In Knives Out, he is Detective Hardrock, a character in a police trial that Marta watches from Ana de Armas in the world of the film. Its inclusion in “Glass Onion” is even more absurd. Gordon-Levitt pronounces the dong sound that Edward Norton’s Miles claims was composed by Philip Glass. Noah Segan, who plays stoned houseguest Derol in Glass Onion, also appears in every Rian Johnson film starting with Brick, and also appears in one of Johnson’s episodes of Breaking Bad. It’s clear that Johnson develops good working relationships with his creative partners, which doesn’t hurt in an industry as volatile as filmmaking.