After subtly but unmistakably transforming himself into legendary Hollywood producer Al Ruddy for The Offer, chronicling the myriad and fraught battles to make the revered classic film The Godfather, Miles Teller says he and real-world role will be “connected forever.”
Appearing onstage at Deadline’s Contenders TV event with the Paramount+ series’ executive producer/showrunner Nikki Toscano and co-star Giovani Ribisi, Teller explained how his in-person meetings with Ruddy — long celebrated for his seemingly unflappable confidence and persuasive deal-making abilities — added that much more nuance to his performance.
“I met with Al at his house before I had officially [joined the cast]. I mean, I knew I was going to do the project, but I hadn’t officially signed on,” recalled Teller, who like Ruddy also serves as an executive producer on the series. “Al, the producer that is, he wanted to make sure that he got some face time with me because he knew that he’d be able to convince me to do this thing. We talked for a long time — his stories are legendary.”
Sitting with Ruddy — who along with The Godfather also produced enduring hits like Hogan’s Heroes, The Longest Yard, The Cannonball Run and Million Dollar Baby — sealed Teller’s intentions, and quickly informed his take on the role. “It always adds a little extra, I think, juice to it, when you know the person that you’re playing,” he said. “And that he’s also seeing the dailies every day on this thing.”
Teller also got to experience Ruddy’s charms as a Hollywood wheeler-dealer par excellence. “It was just so funny, man: he told me by the end of the meeting, ‘Look, if it doesn’t work out with this, I got two other projects I think it’d be perfect for.’ So, he’s a producer till the day it’s done. So, I just I just really enjoyed meeting him, and he’ll still give me some calls and texts and different things. I’ll be a part of his life, you know, and vice versa. We’re now connected through this show forever. He’s just a wonderful man, and it was a great challenge and a privilege to play him.”
As to how he managed to capture Ruddy’s distinctive, raspy speaking voice, “I picked up smoking, and then it just came like that,” Teller joked. “I didn’t have to do too much.”
Check out the panel video above.
Deadline Contenders Television is sponsored by Apple TV+, Eyepetizer, Final Draft, Los Siete Misterios and Michter’s. Partners include Desalto, Film AlUla, Four Seasons Resort Maui, Jason Mizrahi Design, ModMD, The American Pavilion, and Tidelli.