The star-studded cast of “Knives Out” — Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Colette, and Christopher Plummer among others — have one thing in common. In the twisty murder-mystery, each shares the screen with a mesmerizing sculpture made of dozens of knives.
Like the fisherman’s sweater that Chris Evans famously wears in the film, the halo of knives has become an indelible image from “Knives Out,” which has raked in nearly $300 million worldwide and will now get a sequel, Lionsgate confirmed Thursday. The sculpture, made from a used fan grate, bailing wire, and, yes, a whole bunch of blades, decorated the library of the Massachusetts mansion where much of the movie was filmed.
It turns out the sculpture is the work of Rebecca Greene, a Boston-based artist and the movie’s set dresser.
“It became an iconic piece in the movie,” she said. “It was very much a part of it and every single cast member is seen in front of it.”
Released in November, the movie is a classic whodunit. When novelist Harlan Thrombey (Plummer) dies the night of his 85th birthday, master detective Benoit Blanc (Craig) investigates the case. Even the moment when Blanc solves the murder takes place in front of Greene’s pointy creation.
Set decorator David Schlesinger recognized Greene’s talent and put the artist on the project.
She first placed the knives around a standing wooden frame resembling a chalkboard. But director Rian Johnson wanted something different. So she bought a grate from a Roslindale welder and tied the knives around it with wire she found in the prop department. Twenty hours later, the piece graced the set.
“That’s show business,” said the Brockton-born artist. “It needed to get done, and I was the person to do it.”
A graduate of the Art Institute of Boston, Greene has occupied a studio at the Boston Center of Arts for 14 years and got involved in negotiations with the center after it threatened to evict most of its long-time artists. Last December, the center delayed a new residency program that would evict 75 percent of the current renters in favor of a newer cohort of artists.
A member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) union of studio mechanics, Greene is an advocate for the state’s film incentive program that attracts filmmakers to Massachusetts.
On Sunday, “Knives Out” will take on “Parasite,” “1917,” “Marriage Story,” and “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood” for best original screenplay at the Oscars. The movie was also nominated for three Golden Globes and multiple Critics’ Choice Movie Awards.
To Greene, it’s a masterpiece.
“It’s such an enjoyable movie,” she said. “Even though I tend to be a person that only sees their flaws — like I would want to fix the one knife on the display slightly off — this one was particularly fun to watch.”
Diti Kohli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @ditikohli_.