Noah Segan as Derol, carefree stoner who’s “going through some things”
Spetses, Greece, May 2020
Film: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Release Date: November 23, 2022
Director: Rian Johnson
Costume Designer: Jenny Eagan
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Derol is definitely having a moment right now! From articles in Variety to countless memes, the laidback loafer played by Noah Segan has quietly risen as a fan favorite among the star-studded cast of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery in the month since it premiered on Netflix.
Glass Onion is set in May 2020, two months into the global lockdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the nonchalant Derol reminds me of the vibe I had aspired to at this stage in lockdown: unbothered, staying in my lane, growing out my hair and chilling.
— Brittani Warrick (@BrittaniWarrick) December 27, 2022
“There’s something about Derol living his truest self,” explained Noah Segan, who I had the privilege of speaking to last week about the character and his clothing. Indeed, Derol’s nonchalance may make him the most honest and honorable character in Glass Onion, even moreso than our heroic detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), whose very presence on the private Greek island owned by billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton) is revealed to be part of a gambit—a well-meaning gambit, to be sure, but still deceitful.
And who is Derol, you ask? Derol is the answer to the question we’ve all asked ourselves: what if the Dude was dropped into Death on the Nile? Segan himself likens Derol to a slacker of the Kato Kaelin variety, whose role in the household remains unclear, though he arguably serves the dual narrative purpose of comic relief and red herring.
“He’s staying here, he’s going through some things, but he’s not part of the experience—at all,” Miles assures his handful of
disruptor shithead guests after Derol strolls through their arrival with a case of Corona in hand. With approximately 60 seconds of screen time, Derol made a significant impact on audiences, to the point that Netflix even sanctioned a minute-long cut of Glass Onion… “but only Derol”, the cinematic equivalent of the delicious “Oops! All Berries” variety of Cap’n Crunch.
Segan is a familiar face to filmgoers, with his filmography including a role in all of Johnson’s feature films since the director’s 2005 debut, the high school-set neo-noir Brick. Aside from Daniel Craig (and another voice cameo by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Segan was the only actor to return from the first Knives Out, in which he played the fresh-faced Trooper Wagner. In Glass Onion, Segan returned as the delightfully mysterious Derol, based on Johnson’s real-life friend Derol Frye, whom Segan described to me as “a real fun-loving, happy-go-lucky, easygoing Southern California dude.”
Whether he’s playing a straitlaced, over-eager rookie cop or a laidback beach bum, Segan’s characters always find a way to end up right by Benoit Blanc’s side as the mystery unravels.
What’d He Wear?
One of the first hints of Miles Bron’s dishonesty comes from Derol’s very presence. Miles informs his old friends that the weekend guest list will be comprised of “just our gang… just us,” only for Derol to stride onto the beach behind him, announcing “hey, hey!” followed by his mantra of “I’m not here…” as he fades away as quickly as he arrived.
Derol’s wardrobe for the scene may have even been part of the impetus for the character himself. While at a barbecue together, Rian Johnson spotted the real Derol Frye wearing a T-shirt for his band, Little Petie & The Mean Old Men, and took a photo. “I think it was something as simple as that sparked the inspiration for that character and his look,” Segan explained to me. “In the movie, the first time you see me, I’m wearing one of Derol’s shirts.” (The real Derol now sells this T-shirt on Etsy!)
Johnson and Segan showed the T-shirt and some accessories for the character to costume designer Jenny Eagan, who built the rest of Derol’s wardrobe from these items and their collective vision. “If we break down Derol’s looks, there isn’t a ton of brashness… it’s a lot of earth tones and natural colors and natural dyes.”
For Derol’s introductory scene on the beach, Eagan paired the off-white T-shirt and its colorful, tie-dye effect graphic with a pair of faded and comfortably broken-in patchwork cargo shorts with sections in green stripe, solid brown, gold stripe, as well as an indigo cargo pocket covered by a burnt-orange flap.
The next time we see Derol, he’s admiring the Mona Lisa as “classic!” while munching on some cereal, only for glares from Blanc and Helen (Janelle Monáe) to send him again shuffling from the room: “Hey! Not here.”
The screenplay had initially called for Derol to wear a bathrobe in this scene, but the costume was thoughtfully reimagined by Eagan in a manner that, according to Segan, “fit with both his beach bum look as well as clothing inspired by or local to the south of Greece… the vast majority of it was either custom-made by Jenny or vintage.”
Eagan’s costume design for the scene introduced a hemp pullover shirt, multi-striped in slate, navy, lavender, and sage, with a henley-style open top, breast pocket, short side vents, and long sleeves that Derol wears rolled up each forearm. Derol also wears baggy brown linen trousers that Segan described as “drop-crotch parachute pants”, which gather at the ankles above the same tan-strapped sandals that he had earlier worn on the beach.
Later, Helen frantically runs through the Glass Onion grounds and is shocked to find… Derol, living the campus stoner dream while reclining with a beer and a joint, his tan sandals kicked off in front of him. He wears the same brown pants but has changed his shirt into a unique short-sleeved camp shirt, patterned in a black-and-white leopard print overlaid with red and yellow flowers on green leafy stems.
When Derol joins Blanc outside to witness the denouement, he pulls on a beige tribal-patterned poncho with fringed ends to comfortably sit back for a smoke and a beer while witnessing the fiery chaos of disruption.
Attahced to shark neoprene Croakies around his neck, Derol wears brown-framed OJM Solars by Old Jewish Men, another item that Segan brought to the character. Created by @oldjewishmen founder Noah Rinsky, these modestly priced wraparound sunglasses have long, ovular polarized lenses in the front as well as tinted temple lens panels, resulting in a product that Liana Satenstein affectionately described in Vogue as looking “like they were ripped from the glasses display case at Duane Reade.”
One of the most distinctive pieces of Derol’s kit is his wristwatch from the Midwest-based Haven Watch Co., founded in 2019 by Segan’s friend Weston Cutter. The company was formed with a vision of creating distinctive, vintage-inspired watches “to be bought by weirdos who make art and do something,” as Cutter explained in a Hodinkee interview.
Haven debuted with the Chilton MK1, a colorful yet rugged and reliable manual-winding three-register chronograph “that takes its fun very seriously” and was named after singer-songwriter Alex Chilton of the Box Tops and Big Star. After 2020, Haven doubled down on the fun aspect of its watches with the Haven Chillllton model—that’s four L’s—powered by the same Sellita SW510 M b caliber movement and the same stainless steel 37.5mm case and matching five-piece link “engineer bracelet” as “the OG Chilton, but refreshed with the world’s only tie-dyed chronograph dial,” as Haven touts.
Given Derol’s hippie vibe and the tie-dyed decor in his room, the whimsical Chillllton was the perfect choice. Handmade in Minnesota, the watch was produced in a limited run of only 25 pieces.
In addition to his puka shell necklace, trio of longer nut necklaces, and round nut-beaded bracelet that collides with the wristwatch on his right wrist, Derol also follows his host Miles’ example by wearing a red kabbalah bracelet. Wearing this scarlet-dyed woolen string emerged as a Jewish tradition by the early 20th century though, despite its religious association (the wearer is meant to recite the kabbalah prayer while knotting it seven times around the left wrist), the practice has also been appropriated by non-Jewish celebrities.
Segan pointed out to me that, not only does Miles appropriate the bracelet, he wears it on the wrong wrist! “This tracks with Miles, who comes across as this pedantic know-it-all but doesn’t really know anything, appropriating this cultural affectation and screwing it up.” Considering that the bracelet is intended as a talisman to ward off misfortune, it’s fitting that the bracelet’s powers are lost on the poser Miles, while Derol—who wears it correctly on his left wrist—decidedly escapes tragedy by the end of Glass Onion.
What to Imbibe
Unlike his fellow island revelers who are introduced to Jared Leto’s hard kombucha, Derol maintains a steady tipsiness from long-necked bottles of Corona Extra, likely chosen as this pale lager reflects the real Derol Frye’s preference for Mexican beer, though it also calls to mind the odd perceptive associations that grew between Corona beer and COVID-19. Though a insignificant number of consumers drew an unfortunate parallel between the name of the beer and the coronavirus, Snopes reports that American sales of Corona actually increased by 5% at the start of 2020.
In Derol’s room, we also see bottles of Ketel One and Kahlúa perched on a shelf behind him. As fans of The Big Lebowski know, vodka and coffee liqueur are two of the three ingredients needed to make a White Russian, the signature drink of The Dude, whose personality, appearance, and lifestyle are not unlike Derol. (While Segan couldn’t confirm if the set dressing was a reference to El Duderino, he did praise production designer Rick Heinrichs for his impressive work on Glass Onion, right down to the details of Derol’s sanctuary.
Of course, vodka and coffee liqueur on their own can be used to mix a Black Russian, which happens to be my dad’s favorite cocktail and consists simply of a 5:2 ratio of vodka to Kahlúa, served on the rocks and often garnished with a lemon twist. The drink was said to be invented in Brussels in 1949, about fifteen years before development of the White Russian and during the early Cold War trend of vodka-based cocktails like the Moscow Mule named in tribute to the USSR.
What to Listen to
While chilling in his room, Derol listens to “Cool Change”, a 1979 single from the Australian rock group Little River Band’s sixth album, First Under the Wire. Segan explained to me that this song, “about a guy trying to find his way in the world through weird hippie beach shit,” served as additional inspiration for Rian Johnson while forging the Derol character.
How to Get the Look
Going through some things and need to crash at your billionaire buddy’s Greek island? Derol’s got you covered with a comfortable—and extremely casual—packing list that may disrupt what you’re used to packing for vacation but will serve your Corona-drinking, cereal-eating, and Mona Lisa-admiring purposes.
- White cotton short-sleeved T-shirt with your favorite band’s colorful logo
- Blue multi-striped hemp long-sleeve pullover shirt with breast pocket
- Black-and-white animal-print (with red/yellow floral pattern) short-sleeved camp shirt
- Patchwork cargo shorts
- Brown linen drop-crotch parachute pants
- Tan triple-strap sandals
- Black wraparound Old Jewish Men “OJM Solars” sunglasses with side lens panels
- Puka shell necklace
- Nut necklaces
- Nut-beaded bracelet
- Haven Chillllton manual chronograph with stainless steel 37.5mm-wide case, tie-dyed dial with sub-dials at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, and steel five-piece link bracelet
- Scarlet-red woolen kabbalah bracelet
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the movie, now streaming on Netflix.
And, in a smokeless garden full of shitheads, be a Derol.