Here’s How Larry Kramer Came To Trust Ryan Murphy To Direct “The Normal Heart”

220px-Ryan_Murphy_by_Gage_SkidmoreI woke up one day in 2009 and thought, why has this movie not been made? My producing partner Dante Di Loreto knew Larry and called him. The rights were lapsing and Larry agreed to meet with me. He didn’t know who I was, or any of my previous work. I think he was taken by my passion… I met Larry before the revival on Broadway when he really thought this wasn’t going to happen. I had a plan. Listen, he wanted a lot of money for the property because to be blunt, it was the thing that sustained him and his family for years. I did not want to put him through another script development hell situation where he could have his heart broken. I wanted him, with me, to really control the trajectory of what was going to happen. I told him, ‘If you give me the rights, I swear to you on my life, I will get this made.’ I meant it, I put my money where my mouth is and broke into my IRA account and bought the play outright, so he and I could just work on the project until it was right and then make it. That was always my plan. I wanted to give him freedom and financial confidence… He was astounded that I did that. I don’t know why I did it, other than that I felt so strongly in my gut, perhaps more so than anything I had ever been involved with, that I was getting this done. For him, and hopefully in the right way.”


Ryan Murphy speaking with Deadline about the long journey of Larry Kramer’s play from stage to screen, which resulted in 16 Emmy Award nominations, including one for Kramer for his screenplay

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  • friscoguy

    What a great story maybe the best I have seen on Queerty, thanks for sharing.

  • OzJosh

    Sadly, the joke is on Kramer, since Murphy’s film was mediocre at best. Barbra would have done a much classier job.

  • lykeitiz

    @OzJosh: It makes me sad to agree with you. I’m a huge Murphy fan, but…..when he’s hot he’s hot, and when he’s not… get “Normal Heart”.

    How could something so emotionally charged turn out so bland onscreen?

  • Desert Boy

    @OzJosh: Thank goodness Streisand didn’t get her talons in ‘The Normal Heart’. If she had, the entire project would have become just another vanity movie filming Le Babs from the correct side of her face. Ryan Murphy’s adaptation was brilliant and served the subject matter perfectly. Watch the Emmy awards roll in.

  • robirob

    Didn’t the collaboration with Streisand fall through, because Kramer put a stop on Streisand’s plan to turn the play into a, drumroll please, HBO movie?

    There is something about Ryan Murphy’s work ethic (and other creative types for that matter) that rubs me the wrong way. Sure, he is passionate about his projects at first, but after a little while he gets bored, starts a new project (or two or three?), and abandons the one he was previously so passionate about.

  • loafersguy

    @OzJosh: With 16 Emmy nominations, a rating of 8.3 on IMDb and a Fresh rating of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, I would say that most people who saw it, myself included, disagree with you. Ryan Murphy and his cast did an excellent job with this material and while you are certainly entitled to your opinion, it is definitely in the minority.

  • lykeitiz

    @loafersguy: Yes well, the source material itself and Emmy politics all but guaranteed the nominations, and if you read through the score of glowing reviews, you will find that many of them were high on praise for the script & performances, yet critical of Murphy’s direction.

    Is it an important film? Absolutely. Was it great filmmaking? I agree with @OzJosh: .

  • lykeitiz

    @robirob: Agreed! Nip/Tuck & Glee were brilliant when they began until a ball of yarn rolled by & distracted Murphy. The same could be said for that dreadful last season of American Horror Story, IMO…

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