Burn Gorman tells us about what drew him to Charlie Bluhdorn role in The Offer
"You either love him or you hate him, but you don’t have no opinion about him."
Burn Gorman (Owen Harper in the BBC series Torchwood, Vinsher Grath in Halo) loves learning different tidbits of information about the making of iconic movies. "It’s fascinating really to peek behind the curtain in some way," he told What to Watch in an interview. This is in part what drew him to The Offer, a new Paramount Plus original series about the making of The Godfather, particularly to his character, Charlie Bluhdorn.
Bluhdorn won’t be familiar to casual movie fans — unlike Francis Ford Coppola, Marlon Brando or other people associated with The Godfather — but Bluhdorn was a key figure in how one of the most famous movies ever made came to be.
Charlie Bluhdorn was the founder of Gulf + Western, which acquired Paramount Pictures in 1966. This made Bluhdorn the owner of Paramount during the making of The Godfather. Though he appointed Robert Evans to run the day-to-day operations of the studio, Bluhdorn always kept his eye on what was going on, which could make things difficult for all involved.
"I think Charlie was known to be an extremely eccentric and driven individual," says Gorman, as evidenced by the nicknames he was given, like "The Mad Austrian of Wall Street" and "Hurricane Charlie."
"He burned incredibly bright and was just one of these really incredible individuals that make stuff happen, you know, by hook or by crook. I love people like that. They’re not the easiest people to be around, but it was great to play someone like that."
Putting on a thick Austrian accent and leaning into Bluhdorn’s eccentricities, Gorman hopes that people will not soon forget the man after watching The Offer. "You either love him or you hate him, but you don’t have no opinion about him," he says.
The Offer is the second Paramount Plus series that Gorman is starring in, as he is also part of the ensemble cast of Halo. Viewers may also recognize him from movies and TV shows like the Pacific Rim franchise, Enola Holmes, The Expanse, Game of Thrones and The Dark Knight Rises. The Offer finds him diving into another period piece, something that Gorman enjoys taking part in.
"I think I’ve always had a penchant for another world… being taken to another world, another place, another planet, perhaps," he says. "As an actor, you get to play in this sandbox, which doesn’t adhere to normal rules. I’ve been very, very lucky in order to play characters like that and long may it continue."
Joining Gorman in the sandbox in this story based on the experiences of The Godfather producer Al Ruddy are Miles Teller as Ruddy, Juno Temple, Matthew Goode, Giovanni Ribisi, Dan Fogler, Patrick Gallo and Colin Hanks, as well as a number of actors portraying the cast of The Godfather, including Justin Chambers (Marlon Brando) and Anthony Ippolito (Al Pacino).
"All these iconic actors at different stages of their careers; different creatives at different stages of their careers. That’s something which I think the creative team had done really well. The actors play them so well," Gorman explains.
All episodes of The Offer are now available to stream on Paramount Plus in the US and UK.
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Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.