When Janelle Monáe packs for a long stint on set, she brings only the essentials: clothes, toiletries, and a number of trunks filled with elaborate murder-mystery costumes. The latter items, revealed in an EW cover story promoting her new film Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, proved to be some of the most useful things on the list. Apparently, the cast of the mystery film spent weekends at a hotel rooftop bar playing Mafia — a role-playing game with the objective of rooting out the secret killer — while filming in Europe. Meta! Never one to half-ass a costume, Monáe came prepared. “Just in case I get invited to a murder-mystery party, I bring outfits with me — that’s just who I am,” she told EW.
Director Rian Johnson, who made handwritten invitations for the cast’s little cosplay adventures asking guests to “dress to kill,” confirmed the singer and actor’s commitment to the bit. “I feel like she must travel with eight steamer trunks or something, because she had elaborate costumes, like detective capes and Sherlock Holmes hats,” he corroborated. “And she had fake mustaches and pipes.”
Just how many costume parties has Monáe found herself at to make her schlep intricate ’fits across the Atlantic Ocean? Whatever that number might be, one thing is clear: Monáe is always prepared to go full-method for a casual game.