With the first season of Glee creator Ryan Murphy's new comedy, The New Normal, barely underway, the writer/director/producer is already at work on another ambitious project: a film adaptation of Larry Kramer’s Tony-winning play The Normal Heart. Murphy recently spoke with Vogue about why he felt compelled to bring Kramer’s heartbreaking story to the big screen.
“I like people who are like, ‘You know what? I don’t care what you think. I have something to say,’” Murphy said. “That’s why I like Larry Kramer. That’s why I want to do this movie.” Murphy credits Kramer’s no-nonsense, yet vulnerable approach to the horrors surrounding the AIDS crisis as the reason he’s so enamored with The Normal Heart. “I really relate to that sweet, necessary concept of protest and anarchy.”
While Murphy expressed interest in producing The Normal Heart, Kramer had to fight to bring him onboard. Barbra Streisand had purchased the screen rights to the drama in the mid-‘80s, but to Kramer’s chagrin, the project never materialized. Kramer sent Streisand a heated e-mail to convince her to turn over the screen rights—the exchange was later passed around the Internet. “Ryan has wonderful ideas that jell and enhance my work,” Kramer’s letter read. “You said you couldn’t get financing. He has financing. He said if he couldn’t get it, he’d finance it himself. (You chose to remodel and redecorate your houses.) This is a man whose driving passion to make this movie is extraordinary.” The e-mail worked. Murphy has since recruited a slew of stars including Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Alec Baldwin, Matt Bomer and Jim Parsons for the movie.
In addition to overseeing his many film and TV projects, Murphy is also considering another new responibility: becoming a father. “If I don’t do this…I’m 46…I’ll really, really regret it,” the producer said of having a child with his husband David Miller. “I want the kid to be bold. And I have a lot of preparation, dealing with these actors.” Murphy’s Glee muse Lea Michele is in favor of the loving couple having a family—so much, in fact, that she wants to be a part of it! “I just know that deep down they are going to be the most incredible parents,” Michele told Vogue. “I am incredibly jealous that I am not their daughter. Because the Murphy household would be my dream.”