Here's why Knives Out's casting director needs a raise

Sunday, June 06

By Ana Lucía León

Putting together a bunch of well-known faces in the big screen is not an easy task, especially when they all play crucial roles in the story. Such was the case in the whodunit movie Knives Out. Released in 2019, Knives Out had one of the most diverse and stunning casts I've ever seen. 

As I watched the movie I couldn't help but wonder how does such a cast affect the development of the plot of a story, and I'm happy to announce I've come to a conclusion. As we know, Knives Out is basically a murder mystery in which someone's killed and a private investigator (played by Daniel Craig) is put on the case to find out who the murderer is. At first everyone seems to benefit from the death of the murder victim, and as the plot goes on the pressure continues to intensify until finally the murderer is discovered. 

Now, this seems like a pretty basic story line and it kind of is, but that's when I realized something. Every single one of the suspects in the movie (as well as the investigator) are played by well known actors: Chris Evans, Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, Toni Collette, Katherin Langford, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Jaeden Martell and Don Johnson. Those are what I'd like to call A-List celebrities, but I couldn't help but notice the odd one out. There's one person that, even though has stared in many amazing movies, is not as recognizable and famous as her co-stars: Ana de Armas. 

Let me be clear, I'm not saying her work was of less significance, or inferior to that of her co-stars, but I had never seen her as the lead in any major blockbuster like Knives Out. I mean, think about it, her co-stars where James Bond and Captain America. 

With this in mind, I realized the effects caused by putting such recognizable faces in the same movie; it creates tension that's separated from the plot itself. On one hand we have the whole murder situation, but on the other hand we have these really conflicting scenario in which different characters are taking sides on an issue, and therefore start fighting each other. On one side of the argument we have Marta (Ana de Armas), and on the other we have this whole group of imposing actors that seem to try to pressure her throughout the movie to get what they want. But the pressure they put in Marta wasn't always directly related to their actions, it was also related to their reputation as actors outside the movie. I know this might seem a little bit hard to grasp, but think about it. Which would be scarier? Being questioned by an angry James Bond or being questioned by just a regular guy? 

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