Academy Award nominee Mark Ruffalo (“The Kids Are All Right”), Matt Bomer (“White Collar”), Taylor Kitsch (“Lone Survivor”), Emmy winner Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”), Alfred Molina (“An Education”) and Academy Award winner Julia Roberts star in a Ryan Murphy film, HBO Films’ presentation of The Normal Heart.
Directed by Emmy winner Ryan Murphy (“Eat Pray Love,” “Glee”) and written by Academy Award nominee Larry Kramer (“Women in Love”), adapting his groundbreaking Tony Award-winning play of the same name, the drama tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s, taking an unflinching look at the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial.
The Normal Heart debuts Sunday, May 25 at 9 p.m. ET, exclusively on HBO. Other HBO airdates in the month of May include May 25 at 11:15 p.m., May 26 at 8 p.m., May 28 at 6:15 p.m., May 29 at 9 p.m. and May 31 at midnight. It can also be seen four more times the last week in May on sister channel HBO2.
The film also stars Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (“Law & Order”), Jonathan Groff (HBO’s “Looking”), Denis O’Hare (HBO’s “True Blood”), Stephen Spinella (“Milk”), Corey Stoll (“House of Cards”), Finn Wittrock (“Unbroken”), and BD Wong (HBO’s “Oz”).
An HBO Films presentation of a Plan B Entertainment and Blumhouse production in association with Ryan Murphy Productions, The Normal Heart is executive produced by Ryan Murphy, Dante Di Loreto (“Glee”), Jason Blum (the “Paranormal Activity” series), Brad Pitt (“Moneyball”), and Dede Gardner (“12 Years a Slave”). Mark Ruffalo co-executive produces; Scott Ferguson (HBO’s “Temple Grandin”) produces.
Mark Ruffalo portrays Ned Weeks, who witnesses first-hand a mysterious disease that has begun to claim lives of many in his gay community and starts to seek answers. Matt Bomer plays Felix Turner, a reporter who becomes Ned’s lover. Taylor Kitsch plays Bruce Niles, a closeted investment banker who becomes a prominent AIDS activist. Jim Parsons plays gay activist Tommy Boatwright, reprising his role from the 2011 Broadway revival. Alfred Molina plays Ned’s older brother, Ben, who is a successful attorney. Julia Roberts plays phyisician Dr. Emma Brookner, a survivor of childhood polio who treats several of the earliest victims of HIV-AIDS.
Joe Mantello plays Mickey Marcus, who is an instrumental member of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Jonathan Groff plays Craig, Bruce’s lover, an early victim of HIV-AIDS. Denis O’Hare plays Hiram Keebler, Mayor Koch’s gay aide. Stephen Spinella plays Sanford, one of Dr. Brookner’s first patients. Corey Stoll plays presidential senior advisor John Bruno. Finn Wittrock plays Albert, a male model. BD Wong portrays Buzzy, a nurse who works with Dr. Brookner.
In 1981, writer Larry Kramer hosted a gathering of six gay men and their friends to discuss the “gay cancer,” and to talk about fundraising for research. This informal meeting in Kramer’s home would lead to the formation of Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), one of the first advocacy groups for HIV prevention and care.
Kramer’s play debuted at New York’s Public Theatre in 1985 and was revived in Los Angeles and London, and off-Broadway. The 2011 Broadway revival garnered five Tony nominations, winning for Best Revival, Best Featured Actor and Best Featured Actress.
For more information on HBO’s production of The Normal Heart, visit hbo.com/movies/the-normal-heart.