Paramount +'s 'The Offer' is one that shouldn't be refused
"The Godfather" stands as an American cinematic masterpiece that has endured the test of time and enthralled generations since it hit theaters a half-century ago. And it almost didn't get made, a story told in an upcoming limited series on Paramount+.
In "The Offer," a 10-episode drama premiering Thursday, April 28, the story unfolds through the perspective of Albert S. Ruddy (Miles Teller), a computer programmer-turned-Hollywood producer who believes the novel by a struggling writer named Mario Puzo (Patrick Gallo) is a potential film classic and pushes through a number of obstacles to help then-unknown filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola (Dan Fogler) get it made.
Chief among them is mob boss Joe Colombo (Giovanni Ribisi), who ironically is concerned the film would further the stereotype of Italian Americans as violent animals. And there's pushback from the studio, Paramount Pictures, about cost and possibly incurring the wrath of the Mafia, which put studio chief Robert Evans (Matthew Goode) in the crosshairs.
But in Ruddy's corner is his assistant Bettye McCartt (Juno Temple), an astute go-getter whose resourcefulness and powers of persuasion match those of her boss.
The series was created by Michael Tolkin, who co-wrote the script with fellow executive producer Nikki Toscano and is based on the experiences of Ruddy, who also served as an executive producer on the project, as well as an invaluable resource for the man playing him, Teller.
"He's just a producer, man -- he gets stuff done ...," the actor says. "And that was really one of the big pleasures of playing him, was just (he's) a man of action and a guy who was thrown in the fire and just has to figure it out. And he's an underdog, and he's out of his comfort zone constantly. And yet he just continues to press on. He only knows how to go forward. He doesn't know how to go backward. ... So it was really a pleasure and an honor to play him in this."
As Evans, Goode captures the essence of a consummate Hollywood insider and dealmaker, complete with sun tan and trademark horn-rimmed glasses. In addition to his research on the legendary executive, who died in 2019, the British actor drew inspiration from spectacles owned by Evans that a friend of castmate Temple had bought in an auction.
"They have bite marks all up and down the arms ...," Goode notes. "Having seen that, I was like, he obviously was kind of stressed, sits there chewing the hell out of them when he's on the phone and that kind of thing. But, yeah, there was a lot more homework than just sticking on a pair of glasses."