Larry Kramer To Receive Special Tony Award, Discusses “Normal Heart” Film

OB-XG816_larryk_DV_20130429155525Larry Kramer, the author/activist/playwright best-known for his searing drama The Normal Heart, will receive a special Tony Award to acknowledge his humanitarian work.

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.”

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  • Caleb in SC

    Meh. I am hot and cold on Kramer. While he has done some wonderful things on behalf of the LGBT community, he has also done some very crappy things, such as advocating outing at a time when it really was a career ender for some people. Despite his apparent self-effacing manner with regards to the Tony, his entire life has been more about Larry Kramer than anyone else.

  • zrocqs

    @Caleb in SC: Larry Kramer deserves a pedestal as tall as Harvey Milk’s. He refused to be cowed by people who had the resources and authority to cause him great personal harm.
    He advocated the outing of people who were in positions to improve the lots of disadvantaged people (particularly PWAs) but refused to do so. Some “sauce for the gander”, as it were. Think of it as blackmail-induced ball-enhancement. Disapprove if you like, but it was effective.
    If you’ve accomplished any measurable fraction of what Larry Kramer has, I’ll give your “Meh” due consideration.

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