It’s time for the TikTok generation to be introduced to the Corleone family. Or at least that is what Patrick Gallo, who plays The Godfather author Mario Puzo in the new Paramount Plus series The Offer, hopes. Speaking with What to Watch, Gallo (The Irishman, When They See Us) has no problems with the social media platform but sees The Offer as an opportunity for young adults to be introduced to one of the landmark movies in American history.
"My hopes are that a lot of kids… that don’t know about The Godfather or haven’t seen The Godfather yet, that this pushes them to see it and then they see it and then they love it and then they want to see more films from those beautiful days of filmmaking," Gallo says.
The Offer is a new 10-episode limited series that details the making of The Godfather, based on the experiences of producer Al Ruddy. The Godfather faced huge challenges getting it to the big screen, not only from fighting between the creatives and studio executives but also from real-life gangsters, most notably Joe Colombo (Giovanni Ribisi in the show). But the difficulties in making that movie is something Gallo particularly appreciates, because he feels that without those obstacles many of the classic movies of that era would not be the same.
"It was a much more delicate process, it was a longer process, it was a process that was just steeped in everyone knowing their craft so unbelievably well or it will not work," Gallo explains. "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Dr. Strangelove, Barry Lyndon, whatever films were talking about, I mean it was a lot, it was a lot more to make a film than I think it is now. A lot of things are much easier and that’s good. But at the same time, there’s a rough essence that I think is missing because you don’t have all the challenges that you had then. There was a beautiful and difficult and heartbreaking romance to making a film before it became a little easier."
Gallo got to depict some of that experience in the show with scenes between his character (Mario Puzo) and Dan Fogler’s Francis Ford Coppola. The two worked together on the script of The Godfather and the series features some lovely scenes between the two discussing the details of some of the movie’s most iconic moments. The actor could not hide his excitement about getting to play those scenes.
"We just couldn’t get our heads around it," he says. "'Can you believe what we’re shooting?... We’re going to talk about the Clemenza scene where he’s teaching Michael to shoot.' We couldn’t believe that we were able to have the opportunity to kind of recreate what might have been between Puzo and Coppola at that moment."
He adds, "When you read that script and you go there’s a whole bunch of scenes where it’s just Puzo and Coppola trying to structure this story… to read that, to know that those were the layers of the story, I mean I was dying to be a part of it and lucky to be able to be a part of it."
In addition to Patrick Gallo, The Offer cast features Miles Teller, Juno Temple, Matthew Goode, Giovanni Ribisi, Dan Fogler, Burn Gorman, Colin Hanks and more.
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 Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.