'The Offer' stars found details in 'Godfather' makers

Matthew Goode plays Robert Evans in "The Offer." Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
1 of 6 | Matthew Goode plays Robert Evans in "The Offer." Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, April 28 (UPI) -- Actors Matthew Goode, Juno Temple and Miles Teller said they found interesting details about the real-life Hollywood players they portray in The Offer, premiering Thursday on Paramount+.

The drama series tells about the people who made The Godfather in 1972, and Goode plays former Paramount Pictures head of production Robert Evans.


Goode gained some insight when a collector showed him a pair of Evans' glasses bought at an auction after he died in 2019.

"They have bite marks all up and down the arms," Goode said on a recent Television Critics Association Zoom panel. "Having seen that, I was like, 'He was stressed, sits there chewing the hell out of them when he's on the phone.'"

Today, The Godfather ranks in the top 3 of the American Film Institute's 100 Years 100 Film List. The movie spawned two sequels, and the original film was reissued for its 50th anniversary this year.


In the late '60s, Evans and Paramount Vice President Peter Bart optioned Mario Puzo's book in manuscript form. The film stars Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone, and Al Pacino as his son Michael, who inherits the family business and continues to run it in the sequels.

After heading Paramount Pictures until 1972, Evans continued to produce movies with Paramount and independently. Evans told his stories in the book The Kid Stays in the Picture, which also became a documentary film.

"As Bob said himself, about anything, there's always your version, the other person's version and then the truth," Goode said.

Speaking with associates and acquaintances of Evans, Goode said he heard personal stories that weren't written about in books and articles. Evans made enemies in Hollywood and feuded with director Francis Ford Coppola during the making of The Godfather.

"There's a lot of contentious stuff about his history," Goode said. "Most of those people would come to you and go, 'He was the nicest. He was the kindest. He was the most generous.'"


Coppola, Brando and Pacino appear as characters in The Offer. However, the series focuses on the executives who brought the film together.

The Godfather producer Albert Ruddy is played by Teller in The Offer. The real Ruddy is an executive producer of the series.

Teller said Ruddy promised to work with him on a project whether or not Teller played him in The Offer. Teller kept in touch with Ruddy during production.

"I would text him, "Al, this is so much fun. Like. all these situations you found yourself in was just so much fun, man. Playing you is keeping me on my toes,'" Teller said.

The Godfather was Ruddy's fifth produced project, and he collected the Best Picture Oscar as its producer. Ruddy subsequently became involved with popular films The Longest Yard, The Cannonball Run and Million Dollar Baby up to last year's Cry Macho.

Teller said he admired the way Ruddy weathered opposition from the studio, from the Italian-American Civil Rights League, which contested the film's depiction of crime families, and even from screenwriters Coppola and author Mario Puzo.

The screenwriters butted heads with the studio over the length of the screenplay adaptation. The Godfather runs nearly three hours in its final cut.


"He's out of his comfort zone constantly," Teller said. "And yet he just continues to press on."

Another important figure behind the scenes of The Godfather was Ruddy's assistant, Bettye McCartt (Temple). Temple said McCartt's career is far less documented than those of Ruddy and Evans.

Temple said Dexter Fletcher, director of the first episode of The Offer, gave the cast members homework assignments during rehearsal. Fletcher assigned each actor to spend a weekend writing a backstory for their own character.

Temple said all the actors conducted research, whether they found extensive documented history or had to extrapolate from scant records. He said Fletcher's assignment helped her feel what it might have been like for executives embarking on The Godfather.

"It was so magical to break the ice like that," Temple said. "Suddenly, you were in a room with these people, and it made sense why they were going to be involved in the making of The Godfather."

After The Godfather, McCartt became an agent and manager for actors and directors. Temple said she did not want to know much about what came after the events depicted in The Offer.

"Knowing too much information and then using that to kind of navigate your performance feels false," Temple said. "I think the journey for Bettye is navigating her way in Hollywood in a man's world with this extraordinary friendship between her and her boss."


New episodes of The Offer premiere Thursdays on Paramount+.

Miles Teller, Matthew Goode attend 'The Offer' premiere in LA

Cast member Miles Teller attends the premiere of the Paramount + biographical drama new series "The Offer" at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. He stars as Albert S. Ruddy. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

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