Matt Bomer & Tiffani Thiessen in WWHL After Show (Jun 30, 2011)
This is a real American horror story. Ryan Murphy’s movie version of The Normal Heart – based on the acclaimed play by gay-rights firebrand Larry Kramer – chronicles the early years (1981–84) of the AIDS crisis in New York City, a time before the discover of HIV, when hundreds, then thousands, of gay men were mysteriously dying. Yet the government, the press and the medical community largely remained silent and in denial.
“It’s a story of love and survival, a race-against-time thriller and a clarion call to action,” says Murphy. “We turned a blind eye to AIDS, and it became a world-wide pandemic. The power and the warning of this story is that, in some other shape or form, it could happen again.”
Murphy bought the rights to Kramer’s semiautobiographical piece in 2010, then convinced the notoriously testy writer to gut nearly half his play and pen new material that opened the story cinematically – it’s partially shot on Fire Island – and enhanced various love stories. He also gathered a first-rate cast that includes Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer (below left, with Ruffalo), Julia Roberts, Taylor Kitsch, Alfred Molina and Jim Parsons as a group of friends and associates who try valiantly to bring attention to the disease. “They fought and died for civil rights that the gay community has today,” Murphy says. “I’ve shown the film to young people who were in tears by the end. They had no idea their brothers and sisters went through such hell.”
Inset: “It was worth the nearly 30-year wait to get this play on film,” says director Murphy. “The cast is perfect.”
Thank you to Laura