Paramount Studios adapted the 1972 classic film from a best-selling novel of the same name. Mario Puzo, the author of The Godfather novel was brought in to help write the screenplay. It launched the career of Al Pacino and revived Marlon Brando’s career, which had hit a slump in the early 70s.

The film struck hurdle after hurdle during the making of the film. Struggles to find a director, studio issues regarding casting choices and even pushback from real-life mafia figures stood in the way of this movie being made. This mini-series attempts to bring it all to light, basing itself on Oscar-winning producer Albert Ruddy’s memories of the production.

Whilst it isn’t completely gospel, a lot of the events have been disputed by other major players involved in the production. Sometimes the truth is crazier than fiction. And with a star-studded cast featuring the likes of Miles Teller, Colin Hanks and Juno Temple, this show is definitely worth your next binge.

In this article, I am going to look at the main characters and their real-life counterparts in The Offer.

The Offer: How Does Your Favourite Character Compare IRL

THE MAJOR PLAYERS

AL RUDDY

Al Ruddy serves as the principal character on the show, played by the magnificent Miles Teller. The Offer portrays his passion for the project, his relationship with real-life mafia figure Joe Colombo along with many other sub-plots.

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Truthfully, Al Ruddy was a huge proponent of the movie from day one. Whether he was to thank for as many of the movie’s memorable moments as The Offer suggests is up for debate. He championed the idea from the get-go and deserves huge kudos for its success.

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Incredibly, most of the Joe Colombo storyline was factual. Ruddy actually befriended mob boss Colombo. He removed the word mafia from the script at his behest and was on the front page of the newspaper, shaking the mob boss’s hand. That last part cost him his job briefly, but they eventually reinstated him. People widely credited Ruddy with being the Godfather of The Godfather.

ROBERT EVANS

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British actor Matthew Goode plays the quirky Bob Evans character in the show. I must confess that I did not know that the actor was British and was surprised when I heard him talking to the media for the first time. Goode put a lot of work into his portrayal of the charismatic former Paramount chief, and it shows. His performance is incredible. He is only fractionally behind Burn Gorman’s Charles Bluhdorn portrayal in terms of scene-stealing. In my albeit amateur opinion.

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In real life, Robert Evans was the saviour of Paramount Studios. With Paramount in a rapid decline, it was Evans who answered the call to save the studio. By the time he left in 1974, the studio was back on top critically and commercially. Evans oversaw the production of acclaimed films such as Love Story, Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown and, of course, The Godfather.

BETTYE McCART

The Offer: How Does Your Favourite Character Compare IRL

The inimitable Juno Temple plays the role of Al Ruddy’s assistant Bettye McCartt. Unlike many other characters’ names in this show, McCartt’s is not a well-known one. For the longest time, they knew her as the woman who bought the horse’s head for the famous Godfather scene, and not much more.

Temple’s depiction of McCartt was very much spot on in the show. She started at 20th Century Fox as a publicist, before becoming Ruddy’s assistant. McCartt had a tremendously successful career in Hollywood. She would work with Burt Reynolds in The Longest Yard just a couple of years after The Godfather. Bettye would end up founding her own talent agency that at one time had none other than George Clooney as a client.

JOE COLOMBO

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Giovanni Ribisi portrayed Mafia boss Joe Colombo in an incredible turn by the actor. Speaking to Collider about the role, Ribisi admitted portraying the actor terrified him. He said it took three months to get ready for the role, before a two-week rehearsal. He mentioned that gaining weight was the most troublesome part. The hard work paid off as Ribisi shines with one of the best performances from the entire cast.

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A lot of the stuff about Joe Colombo in the show is true, including the assassination attempt. He vehemently hated Mario Puzo’s book and called him a traitor for his portrayal of Italian-Americans in the best-selling novel. Colombo was also the founder of the Italian-American Civil Rights League. He was in a coma for seven years after the shooting, before eventually passing away.

CHARLES BLUHDORN

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Burn Gorman portrays the CEO of Gulf and Western, Paramount’s parent company, Charles Bluhdorn. Gormans’ portrayal is fantastic. Every moment he is on the screen, he owns it. Gorman as Bluhdorn is simply a riot to watch.

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Information about “The Mad Austrian of Wall Street ‘’ is scarce. What we know is that, after emigrating to the USA at 16, he worked his way up the corporate ladder until he became chairman of Gulf and Western. His tenure as chairman of Paramount’s parent company coincided with the making of The Godfather, and he made almost all the final decisions. Such was his influence on the series, Paramount dedicated The Godfather III to Bluhdorn after he passed away in 1983.

FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA

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Dan Fogler portrays legendary director Francis Ford Coppola. Fogler is best known for his role in the Fantastic Beasts film series as Jake Kowalski. Folger portrays Coppola as a perfectionist, who bonds with the script and is single-minded with his vision for the film.

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In real life, it is hard to separate Coppola from The Godfather. People will intertwine forever the two in history. Coppola was nowhere near the studio’s first choice to direct the film. Paramount offered the film to 12 different directors before ending up with Coppola.

Crazy how things work out sometimes, isn’t it?

The Offer is a ten-part mini-series on Paramount Plus, where you catch the entire season from June 16th.