The Normal Heart Film Casting Is Intriguing But Bizarre

Categories: Film

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Ryan Murphy is putting together a stellar cast for the long-awaited screen version of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart, about the struggle to get recognition for AIDS as it devastated the gay community in the early days.

Julia Roberts will play the lady doctor who nails the big boys with rage-filled truths.

Alec Baldwin is aboard, which might sound bizarre since he's had his own biased moments -- but at least he's playing the Kramer character's brother, who is made wildly uncomfortable by all the gay talk.

And Matt Bomer is playing the fashion-journo boyfriend of the Kramer character (Mark Ruffalo), a guy who tragically contracts HIV himself.

Isn't Bomer a weird choice to be part of a project that unabashedly, angrily screams, "Silence equals death"?

You know?

And wait a minute!

Jim Parsons is in there, too (reprising his very good performance from the recent Broadway revival)!

I love Bomer and Parsons, but there had better be a whole bunch of "Yep, I'm Gay" cover stories before this movie comes out.


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30 comments
dalesulliv
dalesulliv

Not sure why you think Matt can't do the part justice: why would it matter if he's straight or gay? He's a damn fine actor, which is all that counts.

Guest
Guest

It is amazing how true this turned out to be...

Brad's Boyfriend
Brad's Boyfriend

This reminds me of the revival of "Chicago."  The first production was there in 1975 with everything anyone could ask for (Chita! Gwen! Bob Fosse!) but was overshadowed by "A Chorus Line."  "Chicago" was largely forgoten until the Encores! version in 1996, which transferred to Broadway and became a smash hit (thanks to its stars Bebe Neuwirth, Ann Reinking, James Naughton, et al) to everyone's surprise.

And suddenly the movie rights are sold. And there's talk of Madonna starring in it!  And Rosie O'Donnell! etc.  The Buzz Begins!  But instead of casting the people who made the revival version worthy of Bob Fosse, they hire movie stars who can't sing, can't act, can't dance, but sure look good in a close-up.I see the same thing happening to "The Normal Heart." 

Bwaybill
Bwaybill

Yeah, but Chicago was loved by millions and won the Oscar for Best Picture, so they did something right.And you can't really say they totally hired non musical people--Catherine Zeta Jones later won a Tony for a musical; Richard Gere started out in "Grease!"; and Latifah is very musical.

Musto
Musto

I will be on TV as the noms are announced (blog post to come), but please feel free to have a party on that post and give up your reactions.

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

(30's Brit accent) Oh Mikey [may I call you that?... we've never bean formally introduced]..Can we, [listening to the Americans,too long]...um,  may'nt we, here, honestly, (inhale) have an on-line Oscar Party this year?

Me...my tele-vision's  connection (aka TWC and the i-net) is 99% broken ['cept for billing]...is dial up, [can they do this via tele-phone?]  and is too delayed for me.

Figure it out with yr boss, Mr. "Voice of the Village", or whatever his name...although if you're "fleet of foot" by then,  I'll understand...

Rilly, I will.

Exasperatedly Yours,Savvy

MSpeer
MSpeer

Mark Ruffalo? Am I the only one that thinks he's a mumbling bunch of nothing on screen? Playing Larry Kramer? And Alec Baldwin? The casting of this was done for one reason only: box office. But isn't it almost always? Bummer. 

Roi
Roi

I liked Mark in that other LGBT film, The Kids Are All right.

Musto
Musto

Ellen won the Tony for the recent Broadway revival. She was shatteringly good!

Liztracey
Liztracey

Ellen Barkin. Needs more Ellen Barkin.

Notyah Nalla
Notyah Nalla

I sense an Alec Baldwin schweddy balls joke coming on

John From England 2012
John From England 2012

Musto, you more then anyone knows that these two are prepping up for the way THEY will come out. Please, this is strategic to a hilt and hello everybody, it was Bomer's partner who strategically designed NPH's coming out-still is his publicist-so lets take it easy with 'Well NPH did it'...

What is interesting is that Quinto was in the glass closet BUT we never saw him with anyone nor did we see him officially host/vote/give money to gay charities as himself nor with a partner. So he HAD to come out of his glass closet his way.

Parsons and Bomer have more in common. Both are seen with their partners at official events. Take pictures with them. All their fan gurls know-well Bomer more then Parsons. And both have given money as a couple to charities-Bomer gay Family E Council and Parsons, some theatre production. Of the two Bomer physically and vocally supports gay charities and events the most.

So I don't think they will do an NPH 'I'm gay' cover. Nor a Quinto type. I see it as in between. It will be staged by their pr that a reporter will simply casually ask them 'How personal do you find this story etc' and then...bang. Both will explain why it's personal.  My two cents! 

Musto
Musto

Great insight. Thank you, John.

Musto
Musto

A lot of years. She ended up saying Larry tied up her version of the screenplay--but of course her version had her character (the lady doctor) becoming WAY more central!!!

Southern Dave
Southern Dave

At least and at last the play is being made into a movie after Barbra Streisand tied it up with options for HOW MANY YEARS, Michael?

Honks
Honks like.author.displayName 1 Like

Bomer is the only good choice...so many ridiculously beautiful friends died...

Xoxo
Xoxo

Bomer is clearly drawn to gay roles like this one and the one in the Prop 8 play that he did. I wis he could just be honest about himself to the press. Neil Patrick Harris did it.

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

I know, it is weirdly playing out like the movie "Sordid Lives".  And I'm sure that having a father who's an ex- NFL Dallas Cowboy doesn't help either.

CMG
CMG

I think Zachary Quinto came out because there was no way he could say nothing about the subject ever again after playing the gayest gay ghost in Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story.  Maybe Bomer and Parsons will have to do the same about face (I remember seeing out of town tourists who stopped to realize Parsons  was in the show advertisements and when they found out the subject matter from the line and cue they came to their own conclusions). 

I can sorta get Bomer not officially coming out from career perspective, he has been on the short-list for a number of A-list projects, but from a personal side he has adopted kids with his husband.  Somebody is going to ask him about his family life more and more when his star grows. 

Parsons has nothing to lose, in my opinion.   He plays an extremely asexual, surely on the autistic spectrum nerd on a show where there really isn't a guy who is 'a catch'.  I know CBS is a very middle-brow network but the show is such a ratings juggernaut that I doubt The Big Bang Theory or Parsons are in any danger of him officially coming out. 

Musto
Musto

Chill, Loins. Savannah was making a funny.

Loins
Loins

Right, except they ARE gay and Tom Hanks ISN'T gay.

MartinNYID
MartinNYID

yep - they'll punt the guts of the thing away, for a 'who's a fag' PR campaign.

Blades
Blades

How would that punt the guts of the thing away??? Have you ever seen Normal Heart??? It's an angry screed against closet cases and coverups and evasions and lies and cowardice!!!!!

MartinNYID
MartinNYID

Yes Blades, I've seen it. IN fact I typeset the original playbill for the reading that Barbra Streisand attended, among many others. My comment does not refer to the actual play. 'Punting' refers to using the guts of the play for external PR spin. I predict that unless Kramer is able to beat down Hollywood with a vengeance, the spin doctors'll ruin it by not devoting the proper resources, then idealizing it after some lame focus groups, to the point where it has to be promoted by some lick-ass PR company who grasps at straws because no one in the firm will bother to read the damn thing in the first place. However, occasionally a Milk comes along, but I ain't holding my breath. It's Hollywood. I don;t believe any of these actors have the integrity of Sean Penn.

Ick
Ick

Bravo! I wish they'd gotten Neil Patrick Harris and Cheyenne Jackson, who at least are out of the closet.

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

Oh Mikey....they're just following the footsteps of Tom Hanks (Philadelphia) in this [pick one or several] "ground-breaking", "challenging", "morally uplifting", "story that needed to be told" "role of a lifetime", "don't have to be gay to play one"  role.

Wings
Wings

Thank you for saying this! No one else would have the nerve!

Zippers
Zippers

Get ready for all the misguided people lining up to say "But Matt IS out." No, not really.

kristakay39
kristakay39

@Zippers i think that it is great that the stars that are confirmed for the movie are committed to the project.  i hope that everyone realizes that actors take on a part to broaden their acting chops.  i think straight can play gay and vice versa when the parties involved are dedicated to do a good job.  i also think that wondering if the people in the project are gay or not  is a waste of  time and takes away from the talent of these individuals.  i hope that  everyone with those kind of questions keep them to themselves.  i am sure nobody want themselves being followed and asked questions about their sex lives in a public forum.  the only things these actors should be questioned about is the job at hand, since it is a job they get paid to do.  it is not their job to entertain the public with their private lives.  please leave them be so they can concentrate their efforts on the job and create a great movie that everyone should see. 

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