“I don’t think the book is that great”

Hollywood history is filled with stories of movies beyond the books that inspired them, but perhaps none is more significant than “The Godfather.” Francis Ford Coppola’s film is so beloved it’s easy to forget that Mario PuzoThe novel was not as well received. But a new mini-series on the making of the film, “The offerbrought new attention to the differences between the book and the film.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Patrick Gallowho plays Mario Puzo on the Paramount+ show, opened up about how his different relationships with the book and film influenced his performance.

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“I didn’t read the book until several years after seeing the movie, which I think is probably true for a lot of people,” Gallo said. “But I always liked the movie. I watch it probably twice a year. The book is good, I don’t think the book is great. And I don’t think Puzo thought the book was great either. He wrote it to pay off his debts. I think the book was written so the movie could see the light of day. The movie is just brilliant, and it’s just a spectacular example of true filmmaking and storytelling.

Puzo primarily wrote the novel out of financial obligations, but it also served as Puzo’s gateway to Hollywood. Gallo was surprised to learn the details of Puzo’s efforts in Hollywood and says he thinks that’s where the author really thrived.

“I think what surprised me was that he was such an entertainer, but he also really loved Hollywood. He loved everyone he interacted with in Hollywood. Him being from New York, you think that he would say, ‘I just want to go back!’ I want to get the hell out of here! Take those people away from me! »

Even though “The Godfather” wasn’t the author’s finest work, Gallo developed a deep respect for Puzo while pursuing the role. During his preparation, Gallo prioritized reading Puzo’s writings, choosing to develop his own version of the man based on what his work revealed.

“I didn’t want to do a Mario impersonation, but rather use his work as a roadmap,” he said. “He was such an amazing writer, a poet.”

The first three episodes of “The Offer” are currently streaming on Paramount+. New episodes will be released weekly.

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Lola R. McClure