Matt Bomer Explains How The Normal Heart Changed His Life

Matt Bomer is the cover star of Out’s June/July issue (available on newsstands May 15), and he spoke with writer Shana Naomi Krochmal about the experience of acting in the long-awaited adaptation of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart directed by Ryan Murphy for HBO. In the film, Matt Bomer plays Felix Turner, who falls victim to the disease as Ned Weeks (Mark Ruffalo) and Dr. Emma Brookner (Julia Roberts) raise hell from opposite ends to figure out what’s happening.

You can read a sneak peek of the interview here.

The Cast of ‘The Normal Heart’ on Bringing Gay Rights to the Big Screen

Matt Bomer, Mark Ruffalo, Jim Parsons and Taylor Kitsch share why they wanted to be part of Ryan Murphy’s drama that took 30 years to make.

“One of my big hopes is that people whoi did not experience it directly will A have an understanding of what people went through at that time, but even more importantly, that fact that gay mens health crisis and ACT Up really catalyzed the gay rights movement,” says Bomer. “We really stand on the shoulders of these people for the rights we have today.”

‘The Normal Heart’s’ 30-Year Journey From Barbra Streisand to Ryan Murphy

Even as Larry Kramer, the lifelong gay activist, worked with producer and director Ryan Murphy on the HBO adaptation of Kramer’s 1985 play The Normal Heart, which premieres May 25, Kramer kept asking the question: Why did it take so long? Why, he lamented, did it take so long to make the play into a film?

For Kramer, now 78, The Normal Heart — set in the early, terrifying days of AIDS when gay men in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles were dying of mysterious and rare diseases like Kaposi’s sarcoma — was always more than just a play. Its plot told of how Ned Weeks, Kramer’s alter ego, rallied then alienated his fellow gay activists who banded together in the battle against AIDS. It also served as a furious denunciation of the institutions — from The New York Times to the New York mayor’s office to the federal government — that Kramer blamed for initially ignoring the escalating epidemic; it was an urgent call for gay men to fight back to save their lives; and, nearly 30 years before the Supreme Court opened the door to federal recognition of same-sex marriage, it envisioned a world in which two gay men could wed.

You can read the rest of the article here, along with a sneak peek from the upcoming issue of The Hollywood Reporter, where Matt and his co-stars from “The Normal Heart” are featured on the cover.