Producer Ram Bergman on Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and working with director Rian Johnson

by W. Andrew Powell

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is one of the most entertaining and hilarious movies of the year.

While Knives Out felt like a modern twist on a classic whodunnit, Glass Onion is a more playful and funny twist the genre with layered storytelling, wild characters, and an epic location.

Director Rian Johnson shows off his writing and directing skills in his latest film, but behind the scenes, one of the main people that helped make Johnson’s dream a reality is long-time producer Ram Bergman.

The two have been working together ever since Johnson’s film Brick in 2006, and the director had a lot of praise for his partner.

Ram Bergman at the U.S. premiere of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery in LA

“I’ll limit myself when writing on the page,” Johnson said, “because I’ll think, ‘Oh, god. How are we gonna afford this? This is a lot,’ and Ram, as a producer, even from the indie movie beginning, has always said, ‘Just write what the story needs, and we’ll figure out a way to get it done,’ and he always has.”

For his part, Bergman says he’s “the luckiest [expletive],” to be able to work with Johnson, who he says “is so uniquely gifted and great in every movie.”

“He’s the best human being in the world, and [he] makes my job so easy. I feel like I wake up every morning, I’m happy, my life is good, and I’m like, ‘you know, I’ve got nothing to complain [about].”

Johnson is at the top of his game, but Bergman admitted that the director had his doubts in the past.

“Rian, maybe seven or eight years ago, didn’t know if he was going to make another movie. He was always nervous… [but now] I think he’s probably relaxed.”

And when it comes to making any film, as Johnson said during a press conference with the cast and Bergman, you have to start with the best possible story.

“Make the best [script for the] movie,” Bergman said, “and then let’s figure out how to do it, even if you have to think outside the box, even if you have to put your own money into it. Whatever it takes to make the best movie, but that’s the job, honestly.”

Bergman also thinks there’s a key lesson that everyone can take away from how he works with Johnson.

“I think betting on yourself is something that I keep telling other filmmakers and producers, directors. If you really believe in it, that’s the way to do it.”

As far as Glass Onion is concerned, Bergman says he’s seen the film even more than Johnson has, and it’s “so much fun and there’s so many layers to it and so many details… I love watching people’s reaction to it.”

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is in select theatres now, and the film premieres on Netflix starting December 23.

Daniel Craig as Detective Benoit Blanc, Dave Bautista as Duke, Edward Norton as Miles and Madelyn Cline as Whiskey
Daniel Craig as Detective Benoit Blanc, Dave Bautista as Duke, Edward Norton as Miles and Madelyn Cline as Whiskey

Images courtesy of Netflix.

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