Jim Parsons, Taylor Kitsch Join HBO’s Ryan Murphy-Directed Movie ‘The Normal Heart’

EXCLUSIVE: The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons and Friday Night Lights alum Taylor Kitsch will co-star opposite Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo and Matt Bomer in The Normal Heart, HBO‘s original movie adaptation of the Tony-winning Larry Kramer play, which is being written by Kramer and directed by Ryan Murphy. The project tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s. Parsons plays gay activist Tommy Boatwright, reprising his role from the 2011 Broadway revival. He was previously attached to Murphy’s adaptation when it was eyed as a theatrical feature. Kitsch plays Bruce Niles, a closeted investment banker who becomes a prominent AIDS activist. Roberts plays physician Dr. Emma Brookner, a survivor of childhood polio who treats several of the earliest victims of HIV-AIDS. Ruffalo plays 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. Murphy executive produces with Jason Blum, Dede Gardner and Dante Di Loreto. Production is slated to begin later this year in New York for a 2014 debut.

Comments (24)

  • If Larry Kramer wasn’t such a diva this would have been made for HBO 15 years ago with Streisand and Ralph Fiennes.

    Hope the money was worth it, Larry.

    Comment by Michael — Friday March 1, 2013 @ 10:45am PST  
    • Thank God he did….although I’m not sure Roberts w/b any better than Streisand.

      Streisand’s happy though b/c it gave her time to do classic films like ‘The Guilt Trip’, and ‘Meet the Fockers’.

      Comment by Truthteller — Friday March 1, 2013 @ 12:44pm PST  
    • Michael,
      If you’d done 1/8 for the world that Larry Kramer has done you might be entitled to belittle him without being called out for it. And I don’t mean just creatively. His cries for help and effective advocacy, for which he was ostracised again and again ,were prescient, saved lives, and demonstrated more courage than I’d guess you’ve ever mustered in your life. You don’t like his personality? Tough. His personality saved the lives of thousands, because he kept screaming when no one would listen. Shame on you.

      Comment by M. — Friday March 1, 2013 @ 5:19pm PST  
  • julia roberts? really?

    Comment by anonymous — Friday March 1, 2013 @ 10:52am PST  
  • I can’t wait. It’s such a strong play.

    Comment by bounder — Friday March 1, 2013 @ 11:13am PST  
  • Sounds like the old HBO movie, “And the Band played On” which was excellent, in my opinion.

    Comment by Carrie Berg — Friday March 1, 2013 @ 11:26am PST  
  • Jim Parsons will be excellent. I can’t wait!

    Comment by Kelly Anderson — Friday March 1, 2013 @ 12:22pm PST  
  • Jim Parsons is a magnificent actor. People who only know him from TBBT have no idea how versatile and nuanced a performer he can be. He’s brilliant on Broadway, and will be brilliant in this. But… Julia Roberts?! WHY???!! And playing a saint-like character, no less. Aarrgh!

    Comment by joshreader — Friday March 1, 2013 @ 12:30pm PST  
  • This is a fantastic, gut-wrenching play and a great cast. Julia Roberts could work beautifully in the role.

    Comment by david — Friday March 1, 2013 @ 12:41pm PST  
  • It’s too bad they couldn’t make this into a feature, even Liberace had to be an hbo movie

    Comment by Jake — Friday March 1, 2013 @ 1:28pm PST  
  • What’s wrong with Julia Roberts for this? She’ll draw a crowd. Surprised (and pleased) about Taylor Kitsch. Who can forget that original production at the Public? The names on the walls of the sunken theater space; the milk spilled on the floor…Nobody like Joe Papp today, the definition of an impresario. (Correction : Andre Bishop.)

    Comment by Mark K. — Friday March 1, 2013 @ 1:30pm PST  
  • I don’t understand why this is a HBO film? “Brokeback Mountain” was a hit and proved gay story lines can make money at the box office.

    However I am glad this film is getting made. I think HBO will actually give the filmmakers more freedom on how to that want to tell the story but on a lower budget.

    Comment by Stan — Friday March 1, 2013 @ 1:46pm PST  
    • Because HBO wants to tell this story.

      Quit reading too much into things.

      Comment by American — Friday March 1, 2013 @ 4:52pm PST  
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