It’s taken 30 years for Larry Kramer’s incendiary play The Normal Heart to make it to the screen. Heart, which premiered in 1985 and had a 2011 Tony-winning revival on Broadway, is one of the first literary works to tackle the AIDS crisis and boldly criticize the lack of government support to fight the disease. In this week’s EW cover story, the cast and crew talk about the challenges of bringing Heart to life, the transformative production, and their hopes for the film’s legacy.
Despite involvement from names like Barbra Streisand, who owned the rights for 10 years, The Normal Heart appeared to be destined for only theater until Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy acquired the rights in 2009 with his own money. “I really believed in it,” explains Murphy, who first read the play in college and directed the film version. “Larry set a very high price. I gulped and said, ‘Okay,’ and bought it. I think he wanted to see, ‘Is this kid serious?’ And I was.” Kramer, who’s HIV-positive and currently recovering from unrelated medical complications, was unable to speak to EW but emailed that Heart made it to the screen “because of Ryan Murphy caring passionately about getting it made, abetted by [exec producer] Dante Di Loreto.” READ FULL STORY