The HBO film adaptation of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart will boast quite a roster of stage and screen stars. The latest additions to the all-star cast are three-time Tony nominee Alfred Molina and Tony and Oscar winner Joel Grey, who co-directed the show's Broadway revival. No word yet on which roles Molina and Grey will take on in the movie, directed by Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy.
Broadway.com spoke with Kramer, who also serves as the movie’s screenwriter, to get his perspective on how the stage-to-screen adaptation is going.
“Ryan Murphy is just so obsessively obsessed with it,” Kramer said. “It’s so exciting—we have Julia Roberts; we have Mark Ruffalo and Jim Parsons; we have Alfred Molina, and we now have Joel Grey. It’s just going to be brilliant."
This is a big year for Kramer: in addition to the movie, the scribe will be recognized at the 67th Annual Tony Awards with the Isabelle Stevenson Award for his substantial contributions to the theater community.
Joining Grey and Molina in the HBO film are Roberts as Dr. Emma Brookner, Ruffalo as Ned Weeks, Parsons (who co-starred in the 2011 Broadway production) as Tommy Boatwright, Orphans star Alec Baldwin as Ben Weeks, Taylor Kitsch as Bruce Niles, Jonathan Groff as Bruce's HIV-positive lover Greg,Matt Bomer as Ned’s lover Felix Turner, and Joe Mantello (who nabbed a Tony nomination for his portrayal of Ned Weeks in The Normal Heart on Broadway) as Mickey Marcus.
The Normal Heart is Kramer's groundbreaking portrayal of the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s. It premiered off-Broadway at the Public Theater in 1985, and received a Best Revival Tony Award in 2011 for its first-ever Broadway production.