“The Godfather” actor Gianni Russo has a message for CNN anchor Chris Cuomo — fuhgeddaboudit.
Russo, who played Godfather Vito Corleone’s wife-beating son-in-law Carlo Rizzi in the classic mobster flick, says Cuomo made a fool out of himself when he flew off the handle after being called “Fredo,” according to a report.
“I couldn’t understand, because he’s such an intelligent kid, educated and everything else. I heard he’s hurt his career,” the 75-year-old actor told TMZ, adding that Cuomo’s father, the late ex-Gov. Mario Cuomo, “would smack him” if he heard the rant.
“All these news guys, they’re so opinionated,” Russo said. “It’s not about what you think. And you’re taking Fredo, a character from a classic? It’s like spitting on the Mona Lisa.”
Cuomo, 49, went on a vulgar, caught-on-camera rant during an event on Shelter Island last week, after being called “Fredo” — Corleone’s bumbling son in the movies — going so far as to say the moniker is like the N-word for Italian-Americans.
“Punk-ass bitches from the right call me ‘Fredo,’ My name is Chris Cuomo, I’m an anchor on CNN,” the anchor says on the video. “Fredo is from ‘The Godfather,’ he was a weak brother and the use of it to an Italian is disparaging.”
CNN stood behind Cuomo after his rant went viral, but insiders said staffers were “embarrassed.”
Last week, Cuomo, the brother of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, apologized for the rant, saying on Twitter that the “truth is I should be better than the guys baiting me.”