Directed by Ryan Murphy and written by Larry Kramer, who adapted his groundbreaking Tony Award-winning play of the same name, The Normal Heart also stars Alfred Molina, Jonathan Groff, Denis O'Hare, Stephen Spinella, Corey Stoll, Finn Wittrock and BD Wong. Joe Mantello, who directed the play on Broadway, is also part of the ensemble cast. For those who don't already know, it 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.
“They shot The Normal Heart out at Fire Island at one point," Denis O'Hare told us last year. "And there’s Ryan Murphy on the beach in what looked like a black caftan, lolling on a towel, directing away. It was just so, so fantastic.”
Jonathan Groff added: "I got to do all the fun scenes at the beginning when we are on Fire Island, and then I die very quickly. It was really intense. It was so exciting to be on set with those actors, all of whom I admire so much. Joe Mantello—I was such a huge fan of his work in the play. And Mark Ruffalo is one of my favorite actors of all time."
Ruffalo is the movie's main protagonist, Ned Weeks, who witnesses first-hand the mysterious disease that has begun to claim the lives of many in his gay community and starts to seek answers. Bomer plays Felix Turner, a reporter who becomes Ned's lover. Roberts plays Dr. Emma Brookner, the paraplegic physician who treats several of the earliest victims of the disease.