“Extra’s” Jerry Penacoli caught up with director Ryan Murphy at the premiere of his HBO movie, “The Normal Heart,” talking about his hit FOX show “Glee” and the recent rumors of a rift between stars Lea Michele and Naya Rivera, along with the headlines Rivera was fired.
He also spoke about his passion project “The Normal Heart,” a film written by Larry Kramer about a gay activist and his attempts to raise HIV/AIDS awareness during the early 1980s.
Murphy, also a writer, explained, “It’s the first thing I’ve directed that I didn’t write, so I always felt like a very protective parent. I don’t think I’d have the civil rights I have today without Larry Kramer, so I guess in some weird way it was me saying ‘Thanks for life.’ That’s what I felt in my heart every day I worked on it.”
Ryan also revealed how he got Julia Roberts to sign on board after she turned the role down three times. “I just wouldn’t take no… I kept sending her drafts of the script and scenes and she finally watched a documentary about polio and it clicked for her. This woman is fighting so hard for these guys because she was a victim of a plague as well so once she saw that she understood her way into it.”
“The Normal Heart” premieres Sunday, May 25 on HBO.