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How Matthew Goode Brings Robert Evans Back To Life In ‘The Offer’ – The Hollywood Reporter

Making himself a Hollywood icon is one thing, but for Matthew Goode to really play Robert Evans – a 1970s cinema giant who helped make some of the biggest films in history – it was. he had to do his best. It’s not just the late Paramount’s suits and penchant for stylish eyewear; Britain’s Goode had to perfect Evans’ deep, smooth New York accent to sound like the guy who helped reshape cinema forever in Paramount+’s Endow. The limited series tells the famous Hollywood story of how Evans – along with Albert Ruddy, Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola and several other film artists – helped Godfather from a successful novel to one of the most important films ever made. Goode talked to CHEAP about how his wardrobe (and many pairs of glasses) helped him become the embodiment of the notorious movie executive.

Did you meet Robert Evans when he was alive?

No, I never did. I talked to a few people who did and some of them knew him really well. I found out recently that I used to be in the same place as him – we were at the same cinema, [2009’s] A single man, but I would never think, “There is Bob Evans. I’ll go see him.” Even if I knew that, I don’t think I would follow him. I think I ran away.

He has this unmistakable voice, a very specific, fast but easy to understand way of speaking, interspersed with interesting phrases and Yiddishim. How do you make it so?

It was pretty horrifying, I can assure you, when Dexter [Fletcher, executive producer] say, “Do you want to do that?” I was like, “Oh my God.” I know who he is, obviously, I’ve seen The child standing in the photo [the 2002 documentary based on Evans’ 1994 memoir] when it came out, and I just thought it was a great show, but I didn’t want to hear that voice because that was his future. That’s him in his 70s, and the rhythm changes. I went to YouTube and found some great interviews from the 1970s, which I have watched hundreds of times. I think I had about a month and a half from when I was asked to do it until my first day [of filming]. It’s a really lovely time to get your teeth in. I did the somewhat embarrassing thing of putting myself on the tape and looking at his physique and some of the gestures he used. I also keep in mind that when someone gives an interview, they are showing a different side of themselves. This project focuses on a time when his life was a bit drier, so I have to – to quote Spinal faucet – turn it up to 11.

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The real Robert Evans, Paramount executive, green man Godfather.
Silver Screen Collection / Getty Images

Evans’ Beverly Hills mansion was sold in 2020. Did you get a chance to see it while you were in LA?

I did! Well, not in the way I had hoped. I went to Armani to get dressed for the premiere, and when it was over, I said, “Bob lives not far from here. I have nothing else to do today. I will walk from here to his house. It was a lovely walk. “I don’t know what I’m thinking. I [thought]maybe there will be a housekeeper or something. I obviously know he’s dead, but maybe someone will take pity on me and let me in. I just want to see the pool. It would be nice to have a look at where the great man lived. There was a kind foreman there who went down to the gate. I asked, “Is there any chance I could, uh, come in and see the pool?” I thought if I were Brad Pitt or someone of a big stature, they might be okay, but they said, “Who’s this weird British?” They didn’t let me in. But I suggest a few words to [Evans], and then I thought, “Why am I talking to a dead person?” And then I quickly left and walked home.

Something I appreciate about Endow is the attention to detail especially all the famous LA places like Musso & Frank or Chateau Marmont. Did you spend time at any of those spots?

We were actually unable to film at Chateau Marmont because of constant disputes between the staff and [hotel management]that’s a shame, though I think [the production designers] mock it pretty well. I went to Polo Lounge. It’s, you know, a little bit of research. I know it has changed over time; It’s too modern there, so we couldn’t film there. We shot in Musso & Frank, it was amazing. I think I went out four times in a few months [of filming], and that’s one of those places. I was like, I have to come back here because I keep hearing about how when they make a martini, you get a little jug on the side. Who doesn’t want more martinis?

Those martinis could put a big man on the floor.

Yes, they will. They will follow you.

The wardrobe department did an incredible job dressing you up as Evans. Did you have any input, or did you just let them do their job?

I think I only have opinions when you feel that something is not going the way you expected or what you envisioned. That’s a lot of polyester – the ’70s weren’t exactly the most comfortable era. But it’s very bright. They found some Yves Saint Laurent shirts, I don’t know where they got them, but they were exactly like the ones Bob used to wear. They have a double button at the top and four buttons at the bottom [wrist]. He was so hungry, after about three days my fingers were bleeding. And then, apparently, they also brought out 20 pairs of glasses. They asked, “Which one would you like to use? And I said, “I think we should use all of them.”

You have a wide variety of beautiful eyeglasses in the program.

YES. We got through quite a bit. There were a few scenes where I liked, “This one has more of a charm, so [the glasses should be] a little more serious”. I’ve stuck with the classic blacks, but I’ve had a lot of fun every day with Dusty, the props curator. I often ask, “What do you think today, Dusty?”

Did you play Charles Ryder in Brideshead Revisited and a lawyer about The good Wife. You were on Crown and Downton Abbeyand now you’ve played Robert Evans. Who is your best dressed character?

I had so many people ask where I got that shirt when I played Uncle Charlie in Stoker – I had this mustard coat and suddenly that’s all everyone was talking about. And Charles was pretty well dressed, but now I’m at an age where I forget what the hell I was in. I have to IMDb myself, that would be a scary thing.

You mentioned that you said a few words to Evans’ spirit when you arrived at his house…

It sounds a bit silly when you say so, but yes.

No, it’s very cute. If you had a chance to talk to him right now, what would you ask Robert Evans after playing him?

For his forgiveness.

Do you think you will get along?

I think we’ll stick. He told me that I should have been out in the sun a bit more for a better tan.

The edited interview is long and clear.

This story first appeared in the June issue of The Hollywood Reporter. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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