The Offer: Is Juno Temple's Bettye McCartt Based On A Real Person?

While there have been disputes over some of the story material in Paramount+'s "The Offer," which is about the making of "The Godfather," there's no denying that many of the people the show portrays are real.

Released in 2022, "The Offer" chronicles the behind-the-scenes happenings during the tumultuous production of "The Godfather," which is based on the personal recollections and thus told from the point of view of "The Godfather" producer Albert S. Ruddy (Miles Teller). But while the series highlights such well-known faces as Francis Ford Coppola (Dan Folger), Al Pacino (Anthony Ippolito), and Marlon Brando (Justin Chambers) during the production, it also delves into the lives of lesser-known people like Ruddy's energetic assistant, Bettye McCartt (Juno Temple), who was crucial in keeping Ruddy organized throughout it all.

While McCartt is a pivotal character in "The Offer," her specific involvement in "The Godfather" was essentially never documented. McCartt did have a full career in showbiz, though, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which began in the '60s when she moved with her children to Los Angeles from Oklahoma. Apart from her work on the film and the Ruddy-produced football comedy classic "The Longest Yard," McCartt made her biggest mark as a talent agent. THR reported that she owned the Agency for Artists and had a partnership in the McCartt, Oreck & Barrett Talent Agency, where she counted actors George Clooney, Billy Dee Williams, and Maureen O'Hara among her clientele.

Perhaps most notably, THR added, McCartt began working as Tom Selleck's agent and manager from 1975 to 2008, at which time the Creative Artists Agency became the actor's agent. McCartt, however, still managed Selleck's career until she passed away in 2013.

Temple built McCartt's back story to properly represent her in The Offer

In an interview with Awards Daily, Juno Temple admitted she had never heard of Bettye McCartt before she signed on to play her in "The Offer," and found out very little about her in the way of research. That became a huge quandary, the "Ted Lasso" star told the publication, because executive producer Dexter Fletcher — who also directed the first two episodes in the series — asked all of the actors in "The Offer" to write their character's history up until the moment they met Albert S. Ruddy.

As such, the actor decided she had to get creative in fleshing out her back story apart from how she was presented in the show's script. "A big thing that tied Ruddy and Bettye together was this love of the movies and also of the fact that they had single mothers," Temple explained to Awards Daily. "So, with that in mind, and knowing that she'd come from Oklahoma and that she ended up in Los Angeles, I was like, 'OK, time to dig.' So, I went down this extraordinary wormhole, figuring out different films that had been shooting in [the Oklahoma] area at that time."

From there, Temple told Awards Daily that she imagined McCartt encountering people in the films and becoming "pen pals" with them — and eventually going to Los Angeles, "believing that she could actually make magic because her mother made her believe that movies were magic." Temple explained that writing McCartt's story for Fletcher provided her with some insight into getting to know her character.

All 10 episodes of "The Offer" are streaming on Paramount+.