He’s anything but ordinary, and he’s particularly extraordinary in his new HBO film, “The Normal Heart.” MATT BOMER is here! The “White Collar” hunk puts everything he’s got into his work, that means stripping down to his chiseled chest in “Magic Mike” and dropping an astounding 40 pounds to portray a man dying of AIDS in his powerful new project. Of this story of love, heartbreak and change, Matt said reading the script saved his life, and he’s got many thoughts to share with Ellen when they catch up!
Nominations for the Critics’ Choice Television Awards were announced Wednesday morning and “The Normal Heart” scored a leading five nods apiece. The fourth annual awards, held by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, will be hosted by Cedric the Entertainer at the Beverly Hilton Hotel June 19. The ceremony will air on the CW at 8 p.m. ET that night.
An Adventure in Space and Time (BBC America)
Burton and Taylor (BBC America)
Killing Kennedy (National Geographic Channel)
The Normal Heart (HBO)
Sherlock: His Last Vow (PBS)
The Trip to Bountiful (Lifetime)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MOVIE OR MINI-SERIES
Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart (HBO)
Warren Brown, Luther (BBC America)
Martin Freeman, Sherlock: His Last Vow (PBS)
Colin Hanks, Fargo (FX)
Joe Mantello, The Normal Heart (HBO)
Blair Underwood, The Trip to Bountiful (Lifetime)
You can view the entire list here.
When Larry Kramer’s autobiographical play The Normal Heart first appeared off-Broadway in 1985, the AIDS crisis was immediate, mysterious, and very scary. Thirty years later, the director Ryan Murphy, who is known for creating TV shows like Glee and American Horror Story, is reminding us of the depth of the epidemic with a TV movie based on the play—which first aired, aptly, over Memorial Day weekend on HBO. Although the AIDS epidemic began not that long ago, many people don’t recall what it was like. Entire worlds were being wiped out, and it is important that the human devastation be acknowledged.
The story follows the indignant and fiercely political Ned Weeks, played by Mark Ruffalo, and his longtime companion Felix Turner (Matt Bomer), a New York Times style reporter. When Felix, who is not openly gay, finds a purple lesion on his foot, the shame and fear experienced by so many at the time becomes horribly vivid. As Felix’s health deteriorates, Ned becomes a militant activist for safe sex and government-sponsored medical research. In the process, he alienates leaders of the gay community and chieftains of the medical community. The intensity of the relationship between the two men helps explain Ned’s brash behavior: He doesn’t want to lose his great love.
You can read the rest of the article here.
Thanks to my friend Claudia, I added photos of “The Normal Heart” cast from their USA Today photoshoot.
“The Normal Heart” premieres tonight at 9PM/8C on HBO!
Did they track you down for this role, or did you push for it?
I think it was probably both. Probably more so on my side. I just felt that it was a story I had been familiar with for so long that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to at least try to be a part of it.
You were very young during the ’80s, and you were a long ways away from the center of this story in New York. Were you aware of the story in the ’80s? Did you see it on TV? And now as you see it from your perspective, now when you play this character, what does it feel like?
This play was actually the first exposure I really had, a real understanding of the illness. I read it in the closet of my drama room when I was 14 years old, and the irony of that is not lost on me.
So, you know, I grew up in the Bible Belt, and there was no talk about [HIV]. I remember reading this play and seeing this neon blinking SOS and being terrified but also glad that I had some kind of understanding of what was going on, and I did lose friends. I started working at the theater in Art Town in the mid-’90s, which was in some ways an especially difficult time in the epidemic, and that was my first direct contact in losing friends and things like that. So I guess this story, for me, was always the genesis of my understanding of what the disease was.
How many conversations did you have with Larry about playing Felix?
First of all, I love Larry. We spent a good deal of time together talking about the world. He has done revivals of this play for so long, I didn’t want to keep rehashing tough territory for him. So much of this story really is in the text. The most important thing that he told me was it is more about who this individual was before he got sick and after. And the good and the bad with both of those sides of the coin.
You can read the entire interview here.
I added photos of Matt at the LACMA Screening And Q&A Of “The Normal Heart” on May 21st.
A HUGE thanks to my friend Mary for donating all the photos!