Is Bettye McCartt A Real Person? Juno Temple’s The Offer Character Explained



Juno Temple plays Bettye McCartt in the Paramount+ series The Offer, but is the character based on a real person? The Offer is about the true exploits of producer Albert S. Ruddy in trying to get the classic film The Godfather made. The series stars Miles Teller as Ruddy, while the supporting cast is filled with real-life figures audiences will know for having been involved with the making of the movie, from producer Robert Evans (Matthew Goode) to director Francis Ford Coppola (Dan Fogler) to mobster Joe Colombo (Giovanni Ribisi). However, Bettye McCartt is not someone whose important work behind the scenes is all well known.

In The Offer, Temple plays Ruddy’s secretary, Bettye McCartt, an instrumental part behind the scenes. As a savvy player in 1970s Hollywood, Bettye McCartt uses her knowledge of the business to help first-time movie producer Ruddy get The Godfather made. While many characters are obviously based on actual real people, McCartt isn’t quite the same name as Francis Ford Coppola or Robert Evans, and the show is the first time many people have learned about her work. However, McCartt was, in fact, Ruddy’s secretary at the time that he was producing The Godfather, and Temple’s look and likeness are very similar to the real individual.

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RELATED: The Offer Cast, Character & Real Life Comparison Guide

The Real Bettye McCartt’s History Explained

The offer cast and character guide

The real Bettye McCartt was born in 1932 in Oklahoma, later moving to Los Angeles, where she started as a publicist for the studio 20th Century Fox. She later moved on to become Ruddy’s secretary and help the newly-hired producer throughout the making of The Godfather. As shown in the ending of The Offer, McCartt went on to work on the production of Burt Reynolds’s 1974 film The Longest Yard, which was written and produced by Ruddy. She would later form her own talent agency, McCartt, Oreck & Barrett Talent Agency, which boasted such clients as George Clooney, Billy D. Williams, Maureen O’Hara, Anthony Quinn, Wilford Brimley, and Brian Austin Green, as well as authors Louis L’Amour and Henry Miller.

In 1975, McCartt became actor Tom Selleck’s agent and manager and remained with the Friends actor until her death in 2013 at the age of 81. While aspects of the show are heightened, the inclusion of Betty McCartt is one of the best aspects. Having Juno Temple play Bettye McCartt in the Paramount+ series The Offer gives voice to the real person, who until now was never really mentioned as being a factor in helping get The Godfather made.

What The Offer Changed From Real Life

Robert Evans smiling in The Offer.

While The Offer tries to stay as true to life as possible, some details from the true story required reshaping to form a more interesting narrative. Some changes were significant, while others are hardly noticeable. One of the bigger changes comes from Colin Hanks’ character, Barry Lapidus, as he was completely fabricated for the movie. Barry serves as an amalgamation of other people involved in the process, which was necessary for a cohesive plot and far preferable to having an excess of side characters crowding out the story. Another change made to The Offer is the reasoning behind Matthew Goode’s character’s reluctance to cast The Offer‘s version of Al Pacino, and it was actually because of his looks. Pacino was deemed too short, and the studio wanted a blonde-haired, blue-eyed actor to play his part at the time.

Finally, the search for a director for The Godfather wasn’t as easy as The Offer suggests. While the show depicts Francis Ford Coppola signing on to the project early in its process, Coppola initially didn’t think the picture would work and didn’t feature until a little later. Coppola wasn’t even the first choice, as director Sergio Leone (The Good The Bad & The Ugly) initially turned down the job. The Offer is based on the real-life accounts of Ruddy, but there is certainly some wiggle room for how accurate all of it needs to be. Bettye McCartt was legitimately part of his journey and, as portrayed in the show, played a substantial role in helping the making of The Godfather, making her inclusion that much more important not only to the show but also to the real McCartt’s legacy.

RELATED: Why Frank Sinatra Hated The Godfather

How Juno Temple Developed Bettye McCartt For The Offer

The Offer Bettye McCartt

Among the star-studded cast of The Offer, Juno Temple truly stands out in bringing Bettye McCartt to life in the show. As few people know of Bettye McCartt’s contributions to the making of The Godfather, Temple (via: Awards Watch) expressed how honored she felt in helping to share this story with the world. However, given that Bettye McCartt’s story is not well known, Temple found that there was not much information available to draw on for her performance. Instead, Temple trusted in the way the writers created Betty McCartt in the show and in a way that was true to her accomplishments while ensuring her chemistry with Miles Teller as Ruddy was strong as this friendship was key to Bettye McCartt as a character.

MORE: Godfather Book & Movie Timeline Explained (& What The Offer Changes)


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