Ryan Murphy is proud of his upcoming HBO TV movie “The Normal Heart”. It is a project that is very close to his heart. In a report by the Hollywood Reporter on Jan. 9, the director talks about the upcoming movie adaptation of Larry Kramer’s 1985 play that centers on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.
With a star cast that includes Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons and Taylor Kitch, the movie version, like the play, will explore the political and medical issues gay activists and allies faced during the period. It is a story about truth, humanity and the fight that even continues today. For Murphy, it is also about passion. In promoting the movies he says:
“[This] is similar to the play and very different. I worked with Larry on the script for three years. We broke it out to 40-to 45 percent new material, and it’s pretty broken out from the play.”
He goes onto explain the movie’s modern feel despite the drama taking place in the early 1980s, a time before HIV tests and further advancement of awareness were even discovered.
“Larry wrote that play with the idea that silence does equal death. When people were writing about it, there were no solutions. It ends in’84, but what it’s about feels modern to me with gay marriage in the news and people fighting to be loved and accepted for who they are. It’s still very modern and very applicable to the way we’re living today.”
The movie is also a love story says Murphy. With Mark Ruffalo starring as Ned Weeks, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is seen through the eyes of love as Ruffalo’s character works effortlessly for the government to open its eyes to the mysterious disease and how it is impacting humanity as they are also normal hearts.
Both Jim Parsons and Matt Bomer are gay actors playing gay roles, but Murphy said that wasn’t the focus.
“We never went after anyone based on sexuality.”
He went after the best actors possible to deliver this emotionally charged drama that will debut in May on HBO.