Knives Out Cast: Character Guide and Descriptions

ytsfreeSeptember 8, 2022

Knives Out is a fun whodunit with a comedic twist, a surprise 2019 hit that grossed $311 million on a $40 million budget and got an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. The modern murder mystery was so well received that Netflix bought the rights for a sequel, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, which was met with great acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival. Rian Johnson’s original movie is one of a kind and brings out the best elements of classic stories, such as the eccentric ensemble of suspects in Agatha Christie’s novels alongside the improbability factor present in the Sherlock Holmes stories.


Knives Out is a story about the murder of mystery author Harlan Thrombey. He died on the night of his birthday, with all his family still in his house. What appeared to be a suicide is quickly considered murder, for various family members had much to gain from his death. That’s when Benoit Blanc and Lieutenant Elliott come to the scene to try to solve this unusual case. There is still time to catch up on this movie before the sequel is released. Here is a list of the main characters (and there are quite a few), and how they relate to one another.

Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig)

Benoit Blanc, played by none other than an incredible Daniel Craig, is an eccentric private investigator, to say the least. His deep American southern accent, combined with his ability to read people and his general kindness, instantly made him iconic. He has a sharp mind and tongue and will not let anything slide, so it seemed certain that he would get to the bottom of this murder. Someone anonymously hired him to solve this case; finding out who hired him is only one step closer to figuring out who the killer is. It seems like Benoit Blanc is the only character returning for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.

Lieutenant Elliott (LaKeith Stanfield)

Lieutenant Elliott is played by LaKeith Stanfield. Elliot is the one in charge of the case; his partner Trooper Wagner (Noah Segan) is a true fan of the deceased writer, unlike Elliot himself. The Lieutenant will have to work side by side with his partner and Blanc to discover this mystery. Elliott is a much more down-to-earth and think-inside-the-box type of cop than Blanc, which leads to an interesting partnership.

Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer)

Harlan Thrombey, played by Christopher Plummer, is the patriarch of the family. His house reflects his biggest passion and livelihood: his mystery books. Thrombey is a famous author that created a fortune and an empire with his stories, all of which his children seem very keen on getting their hands on. Thrombey’s tragic death resulted in many buried secrets being brought to the surface, especially for his family members.

Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas)

Marta Cabrera, played by Ana de Armas (in the role that got her a cameo in the latest 007 movie), is the sensitive nurse that takes care and spends the day with Harlan Thrombey. She becomes quite close with Harlan and develops a nice relationship with him, even confining him some personal things about herself and her family situation. Marta was the last person to see him alive, and she has a particular condition that prevents her from lying (she gets hilariously nauseous whenever she fibs). Marta just needs to keep it to herself until the investigation is over, or she can get into a great deal of trouble.

Related: Daniel Craig Reveals How His James Bond Experience Came in Handy For Knives Out 2

Linda Drysdale (Jamie Lee Curtis)

Linda Drysdale is played by Jamie Lee Curtis. She is cunning and the oldest and only daughter in the family. She was always close to her dad, playing games and charades that could have only come from a crime-mystery author. Her marriage with Richard Drysdale (Don Johnson) was not well received by her dad, as he didn’t trust him in the least. Even though their relationship was damaged because of her husband, and difficult son, Ramson, she remained very affectionate and caring for her father.

Ransom Drysdale (Chris Evans)

Ransom Drysdale, played by Chris Evans, is the only son of Linda and Richard and is known for being the bad boy of the family. He has a terrible relationship with Harlan and every other family member. He becomes an important figure in the investigation after it comes out that he has a piece of important information about the future of the family that no one knew about. He is spoiled and, most of the time, treats everyone around him as inferior to him, especially his parents.

Walt Thrombey (Michael Shannon)

Walt Thrombey, played by Michael Shannon, is Harlan’s youngest son. He is the one in charge of his father’s publishing company. Walt has never been out of his father’s shadow, even if he believes that the success of the publishing company is due to his hard work; and not his father’s best-selling books. He has constant fights with his father about movie rights and what he thinks is the best future for the company. Walt is married to Donna (the delightful Riki Lindhome), and they have a son named Jacob (Jaeden Martell).

Joni Thrombey (Toni Collete)

Joni Thrombey is played by Toni Collete. Joni is Harlan’s daughter-in-law: she was married to Harlan’s son who passed, Neil Thrombey. She owns a skincare company that she likes to address as more than products: a lifestyle. Joni is quite different from her in-laws, but they still have one thing in common: she wants Harlan’s money. Harlan pays for her daughter, Meg (Katherine Langford), to go to college. But miscommunications and foul play can compromise her future with the family.

Wanetta Thrombey (K Callan)

Wanetta is played by K Callan; also known as Great Nana, she is the mother of Harlan. Wanetta can be overlooked due to her age and her hearing problems. However, she is sharper than people think and notices things that many would miss. She is a silent viewer of this narrative, but not less important. No one in the family remembers exactly how old she is.


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