‘Knives Out 2’ star says Rian Johnson had to cast her after she was cut from ‘The Last Jedi’
Hollywood works in very strange and mysterious ways, and the recent career trajectory of Jessica Henwick is a perfect illustration of that, looking at the various high-profile properties she’s weaved her way through over the last few years.
One of the actress’ first onscreen credits came in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where she played Jessika Pava. At one stage she was set to return for Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, but ended up being cut from the story. However, as fate would have it, she’d been a huge fan of the filmmaker’s since his breakout feature Brick, and he eventually wound up casting her in the Netflix sequel to Knives Out.
In an interview with Collider, Henwick joked that Johnson had a moral obligation to give her a role in the second whodunnit for Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc, after cutting her Star Wars tenure short.
“When I was a teenager, I watched Brick in school and I loved it. So I wrote [Rian Johnson] a fan email, and he never responded. Cut to seven years later, I’m in [Star Wars: The Force Awakens], and I’m meant to go back to [Star Wars: The Last Jedi]. But Rian cuts me out of the project! Cut to this year, I finally got sent this script and I was like, ‘Put me in coach. Give me a Zoom. I don’t care if I get it. I just want to speak to Rian.’ So I revealed all of this to him. I was like, ‘I have a bone to pick with you!’ And of course, he was forced — he was morally obligated — to cast me in Knives Out.”
Given that Henwick also revealed she turned down the chance to star as Xiu Xialing in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in favor of The Matrix Resurrections‘ Bugs, partly because she refuses to give up on the idea of Iron Fist‘s Colleen Wing being reintegrated into the MCU, she’ll be pretty used to these coincidences and happy accidents by now.