Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner Jonathan Groff is the latest addition to director Ryan Murphy’s star-studded film adaptation of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart, according to EW.com. Groff will play Craig, the HIV-positive lover of Bruce Niles, who will be played by the previously announced Taylor Kitsch. Tony winner Joe Mantello (who nabbed a Tony nomination for his portrayal of Ned Weeks in the 2011 Broadway revival of The Normal Heart) has also joined the movie as activist Mickey Marcus.
Groff and Mantello join a star-studded cast that includes Julia Roberts as Dr. Emma Brookner, Mark Ruffalo as Ned Weeks, Orphans star Alec Baldwin as Ben Weeks and Jim Parsons (who co-starred in the 2011 revival) as Tommy Boatwright.
Set in New York in the early 1980s at the beginning of the HIV-AIDS crisis, Larry Kramer’s Tony-winning play follows gay activists and their allies in the medical community as they struggle to expose the truth about the “gay epidemic” to a nation in denial.
Groff’s garnered a Tony nomination for his performance of Spring Awakening. His other stage credits include The Submission, The Singing Forest and Hair. His other notable film and TV credits include a recurring gig on Murphy's Glee and Boss and the upcoming Disney animated movie Frozen. He will also lead the upcoming HBO pilot about gay men living in San Francisco.
As a director Mantello is currently represented on Broadway with the blockbuster Wicked and the Bette Midler vehicle I'll Eat You Last. His other Broadway directing credits include 9 to 5, Pal Joey, Three Days of Rain, Glengarry Glen Ross, Love! Valour! Compassion! and November. He won Tony Awards for his direction of Assassins and Take Me Out. He is also a Tony-nominated actor for his roles in The Normal Heart and the original production of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America.
No exact premiere date has been set for the HBO film.