Picks and Pans Review: Talking with
An Offer He Can't Refuse
Last May, when the producers of Mario Puzo's The Last Don phoned Jason Gedrick to boast about the CBS miniseries' ratings (two of its three chapters placed in the Top 10 for the week), Gedrick, who played Mafia hit man Cross De Lena, looked at the bigger picture. "I said, 'Are we going to have Last Don lunch boxes, sheets and pillowcases?' "
Not quite. But a few weeks later they were back offering Gedrick a chance to reprise Cross in a sequel. The Murder One alum didn't need a horse's head in his bed to persuade him, just the script. "It started getting into the characters' psyches, what might be going on underneath the veneer of power and machismo," he says. Gedrick, a divorced father of two sons, also wanted to work again with Joe Mantegna, who, as Cross's father, Pippi, got bumped off in Don I but pops up in Don II, dispensing advice in his son's dreams. Mantegna was paternal off-camera too. "We had a lot of laughs," he says. "He'd call me Pop, and I'd call him Sonny Boy." So will there be a Last Don III? Gedrick says he wouldn't rule it out. But he's still waiting to see those lunch boxes.