Murphy's Luck

Ryan Murphy Is The Least (And Most) Popular Guy In Hollywood

The recent Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour was an ideal time for Ryan Murphy to clear the air: The out producer was still riding high on the success of Glee and the generally good buzz about his new fall show, American Horror Story. But the public thrashing he got for announcing that Lea Michele, Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith would be departing Glee at the end of next season still stung. (He’s since back-pedaled from that proclamation.)

Hitting the press rounds, Murphy gave a couple of “mea culpas,” painted himself as something of a victim and teased his upcoming projects.

In chatting with’s Nikki Finke, Murphy revealed he’s had his life threatened over Glee—not from angry fans but from the homophobic lunatic fringe.

I’ve gotten death threats. Yes, I have. I think any time you shine a spotlight on homosexuality or minorities and you try and say they are as normal or as worthy as acceptance as others, the people who are on the fringe don’t like that and they will come after you. And they have come after me.

Murphy does seem to regret  his Twitter war with the Kings of Leon, who famously turned down the chance to have their music Autotuned performed on the show.

The thing with Kings of Leon was them saying, ‘Isn’t it cool that we turned down Glee.’ It was stupid and arrogant and I said ‘Fuck you, Kings of Leon’ and I should have never said it. I feel that started a douchey thing about me that I don’t think is true and I’m very regretful about that. I know that’s where it started. Up until then, Glee was gold. I made a mistake. Because the truth of the matter is I love that band. I screwed myself.

Of course Kings of Leon just imploded, with singer Caleb Followill walking off stage mid-concert and the band canceling the remainder of its tour, so maybe Murphy actually feels vindicated on that front.

Still for an Emmy-winning super-producer worth billions, he knows how to play the wounded-puppy card.

When I read a Nikki Finke piece where she calls me ‘a megalomaniac in the making’, does it hurt my feelings? One hundred percent. It makes me stand back and say, ‘What? Am I that person? I don’t want to be that person.’ Does seeing that word in print connected to my name make me feel that I need to try harder to express myself in a gentler calmer way? Yes. Everybody wants to be liked. Do I fuck up? All the time.

Moving on to American Horror Story, his new FX series about a troubled couple (Friday Night Lights‘ Connie Britton  and The Practice‘s Dylan McDermott) who move cross-country to save their marriage and encounter Lynch-like weirdness in their new home. With the show yet to air—and no inflated actor egos to sidestep—Murphy seems a bit more on solid ground.

We call it a psycho sexual thriller. It has an amazing cast: Dylan MacDermott, Jessica Lange and Connie Britton. I always wanted to work with all those actors and I went after them and I got them. To me, it’s what I was obsessed with as a kid which were thriller horror movies. It’s my homage and tribute to movies like Don’t Look Now, The Shining, and Rosemary’s Baby.

But the way he describes it to the Los Angeles Times’ Yvonne Villarreal, it sounds more as Desperate Housewives (R.I.P.) than Twin Peaks.

Murphy cautions against getting too wrapped up in the horror of it all. The show “was never really about horror,” he said. “It really was about marriage and infidelity. It permeates all the characters, they all experience different points of view on that topic.”

When it comes to talk of films, Murphy was mum on the upcoming Glee 3-D but he did drop something of a shocker in his chat with Finke: He’s planning on helming the long-awaited film adaptation of  The Normal Heart.

I optioned it and there’s a brilliant script that Larry Kramer wrote and I’m going to do that with Mark Ruffalo and maybe Julie Roberts. I believe in that play.

First Barbra Streisand, and now Ryan Murphy threatening to bring Kramer’s magnum opus to the screen? Do you have to be a gay (or gay-adjacent) egomaniac to have anything to do with that script?

And while we still love Julia Roberts, we’d sooner buy Chris Colfer as Ned Weeks than Miss Eat Pray Love as Dr. Emma Brookner.

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  • Cam

    Oh give me a break, getting rid of the seniors was the thing that could save Glee. just like Lost got stupid and repetitive until they had a deadline date and could get the script back on track.

    Now the show will just degenerate into the weekly “Will Finn and Rachel Get together again” plotlines. Stupid.

  • ggreen

    He needs to stay away from the no talent Hollywood hangers on Like Julia Roberts and Dylan McDermott. And The Kings of Peon are douche bags, one hit wonders running out the clock on their 15 minutes of fame.

  • Cinesnatch

    Um, Murphy stirred up the same shit with the Foo Fighters. Glee jumped the shark sometime after the Curt coming out episode … almost two years ago.

    Team Foo Fighters.

  • christopher di spirito

    Sandra Bullock over Julia Roberts.

    Sandra Bullock can act, she’s the right age and she’s a bigger draw than Julia Roberts.

  • Mr_Charming

    pointless & off topic BUT, am I the only who thinks Ryan Murphy & John Malkovich look alike. in the pic for this article especially.

  • Paco

    @Mr_Charming: Huh, yeah I can see that.

  • Queer Supremacist

    Glee is the worst television show since Friends and Ryan Murphy is a hack. It jumped the shark during the fourth season of Fame. If he’s involved with bringing The Normal Heart to the screen it’ll be a debacle just like that Oprahfied priv-lit fiasco Eat Pray Spend. His career is proof that connections are the only thing that matter in Hollywood. The only thing that could save Glee is good writing, acting, and singing; no one on the show is capable of any of those, and that’s also why Lea Michele won’t be filling La Streisand’s shoes on Broadway. There’s no autotune in theatre.

  • Emile

    I for one am super glad Chris Colfer (especially), lea, and Cory will be staying. They make the show and my favorite character is Kurt. Ryan Murphy said once in an interview that with the Kurt coming out story they noticed that more people were watching the show. I’d probably watch the show if he wasn’t on it (mostly for Santana and Britney), but it would be waaaaaaaaaay worse off in my opinion. As long as Ryan Murphy keeps giving Kurt good story lines full of drama, romance and comedy I am happy. As for his back-and-forth talk I will try to not take his words too much too heart.

    Also how could the author spell Julia Roberts name wrong. She’s Julia Roberts, wow, lol. She is a wonderful actress. I think people should take a step back and stop hating on these people especially Chris Colfer. He’s awesome and an integral part of Glee. Anyways, Ciao, and adios.

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