The Godfather features one of the greatest casts in movie history — Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Robert Duvall, James Caan, Talia Shire and more; not to mention legendary director Francis Ford Coppola was behind the camera.
Of course, as The Offer will show, there were more people involved in the making of The Godfather than just those who appeared on screen. From producer Al Ruddy, whose experiences were the source of the show, to the Paramount executives and even a powerful mobster, those that had an influence on the difficult production of The Godfather and will be featured in the series are many.
Here is a breakdown of who the big players in The Offer are and who is playing them.
Miles Teller as Al Ruddy
When The Godfather won the Oscar for Best Picture, it wasn’t Francis Ford Coppola who accepted the award, but producer Al Ruddy. The Offer is based on the first-hand experiences of Ruddy making the classic movie, which he has said in interviews (opens in new tab) “had everybody on edge every minute” during its production. In addition to The Godfather, Ruddy has produced The Longest Yard, the Cannonball Run franchise and Million Dollar Baby, which won him another Oscar.
Playing Al Ruddy in The Offer is Miles Teller. Teller is best known for his roles in movies like The Spectacular Now, Whiplash and the Divergent franchise. After The Offer, he will next be seen in the summer blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick.
Matthew Goode as Robert Evans
For all of the big personalities that worked on The Godfather, Robert Evans may have been the biggest. Evans was the head of Paramount Pictures during the time The Godfather was being made and was part of many clashes with Coppola on elements of the movie, most famously the casting of Marlon Brando and Al Pacino. Evans is also the writer of one of the most popular books ever written on Hollywood, The Kid Stays in the Picture (opens in new tab), which while not a direct source for The Offer, covers Evans’ own perspective of the story.
Taking on the larger-than-life role of Robert Evans is Matthew Goode. Goode is an Emmy-nominated actor for The Crown (playing Tony Armstrong-Jones) and just this year wrapped up the TV show A Discovery of Witches. Some of his other credits include The Imitation Game, The Good Wife and Downton Abbey.
Juno Temple as Bettye McCartt
Bettye McCartt may not have an official credit on The Godfather (per IMDb), but she was critical to the production as Al Ruddy’s assistant. However, McCartt’s Hollywood legacy would grow after The Godfather, when she became a manager and talent agent, representing the likes of Maureen O’Hara, Anthony Quinn, Wilford Brimley, Billy D. Williams, Tom Selleck and George Clooney.
Juno Temple is playing McCartt in The Offer. Temple currently stars as Keeley Jones on the hit series Ted Lasso, where she has earned an Emmy nomination for her performance. McCartt gives her another confident, savvy business dealer that proves invaluable to her team. Other credits on Temple’s resume include the HBO series Vinyl, Black Mass and Atonement.
Giovanni Ribisi as Joe Colombo
The real mob was also involved in the making of The Godfather, first as advesaries and then eventually as allies. One of the main obstacles facing the movie was Joe Colombo, a head of the New York-based Colombo crime family. Worried that The Godfather would further damage the perception of Italian Americans at the time, Colombo used his underworld influence to make things difficult for Ruddy and company.
Giovanni Ribisi will bring Colombo to life in The Offer. Working in Hollywood since the 1980s, many will recognize Ribisi from roles like a recurring part as Phoebe’s brother Frank Jr. on Friends, as the medic Wade in Saving Private Ryan, in the Seth MacFarlane comedy Ted and in Avatar, a franchise he’s going to return to with 2022’s Avatar 2.
Dan Fogler as Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola is considered one of the greatest directors of all time for his work on The Godfather movies, The Conversation and Apocalypse Now. But before he made The Godfather, Coppola was a struggling filmmaker who was disillusioned with the Hollywood system. It’s this version of Coppola that we’ll see in The Offer, brought to life by Dan Fogler.
Looking past the infamous Coppola beard Fogler is sporting for the show, fans will know the actor mostly from his role as Jacob Kowalski in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, including the most recent entry, The Secrets of Dumbledore. Fogler has also had roles in The Walking Dead, Balls of Fury and Fanboys.
Patrick Gallo as Mario Puzo
Before The Godfather could become a movie, it was the creation of author Mario Puzo. In addition to penning what would become one of the best-selling books of all time, Puzo was hired to write the screenplay of The Godfather, though his outsider status made this a challenge at times, as The Offer shows.
Patrick Gallo has been tapped to play Puzo in the show and he is no stranger to the crime genre. Gallo has appeared in The Irishman, When They See Us, Boardwalk Empire and more throughout his career.
Burn Gorman as Charlie Bluhdorn
Charlie Bluhdorn was the founder and CEO of Gulf + Western, a massive conglomerate that in 1966 purchased Paramount Studios when it was at a low point. Nicknamed "Hurricane Charlie" and with a thick Austrian accent, Bluhdorn was a major presence looming over the making of The Godfather, which his company desperately needed to be a hit.
Bluhdorn is played by Burn Gorman. While the name may not be as familiar to many, most have probably seen Gorman in one of their favorite TV shows or movies. His credits include a run on Coronation Street in the 1990s, The Dark Knight Rises, Pacific Rim, Game of Thrones, The Expanse and Enola Holmes. He also currently stars in another Paramount Plus series, Halo, and will appear in two 2022 movies, Watcher and Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.
Colin Hanks as Barry Lapidus
Barry Lapidus is actually one of the few fictional characters on The Offer. He serves as Bluhdorn’s right-hand man who is incredibly skeptical of The Godfather and the Paramount side of Gulf + Western in general. He essentially is the embodiment of all the struggles the movie had with higher ups.
Colin Hanks takes on the role of Lapidus. Hanks has been a solid supporting player for years with roles in American Crime Story, the Jumanji franchise and Fargo. He was also part of the main ensemble of the sitcom Life in Pieces.
The Offer cast: what other famous figures are in the show?
The Offer is stuffed with other recognizable or influential characters, here’s a quick breakdown of who else will pop up and who is playing them:
Josh Zuckerman as Peter Bart
Zuckerman (Austin Powers in Goldmember, Oppenheimer) plays Peter Bart, who was a Paramount executive working with Robert Evans; he’s now editor-at-large for Deadline.
Nora Arnezeder as Francoise Glazer
Arnezeder (Army of the Dead) plays Francoise Glazer, who was dating Al Ruddy during the making of The Godfather.
Frank John Hughes as Frank Sinatra
Hughes (Band of Brothers) portrays the legendary crooner, who wants to stop The Godfather from being made.
Justin Chambers as Marlon Brando
Chambers (Grey’s Anatomy) plays one of the greatest actors of all time when his performance in The Godfather would reignite his career.
Anthony Ippolito as Al Pacino
Ippolito (Pixels) portrays Al Pacino, who was a little known actor before being cast in The Godfather.
Stephanie Koenig as Andrea Eastman
Koenig (The Flight Attendant) plays casting director Andrea Eastman.
Lou Ferrigno as Lenny Montana
Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk) takes on the role of Lenny Montana, who played Luca Brasi in The Godfather.
Damian Conrad-Davis as James Caan
Conrad-Davis (Homecoming) plays James Caan, who played Sonny in The Godfather.
Cynthia Aileen Strahan as Talia Shire
Strahan (Art of the Dead) plays Talia Shire, Connie in The Godfather and Francis Ford Coppola’s sister.
Maya Butler as Diane Keaton
Butler (Dynasty) plays Hollywood legend Diane Keaton, who was Kay in The Godfather.
Joseph Russo as Joe Gallo
Russo (Jersey Boys) portrays real-life gangster Joe Gallo.
All episodes of The Offer are now available to stream on Paramount Plus in the US and UK.
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.
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