The 77-year-old writer, who won a Tony in 2011 when a revival of 1985’s The Normal Heart finally made its Broadway debut, has been named as the recipient of this year’s Isabelle Stevenson Award, a non-competitive Tony award given to an individual from the theater community who has made a substantial contribution on behalf of humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations.
In an interview with Wall Street Journal, Kramer discusses the upcoming film adaptation of his enduring play, which will be directed by Ryan Murphy with a star-studded cast that includes Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts and Matt Bomer.
“We are so excited about it,” Kramer said. “It’s much bigger than the play. It’s the same basic plot but one is able to open it up and show much more about AIDS and also explore the character of the doctor [Roberts] which I wanted to do in the play, but it didn’t work.”
Asked about the casting of Ruffalo as Ned Weeks, an activist character inspired by Kramer, the playwright said he’s flattered.
“I should look so good,” Kramer said. “I think that we do agree about activism. I like to think that I taught him a little about how to do it. I gave him my book of essays about how to be an activist. I know he read it cover to cover.”