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.
I added photos of Matt with Tim DeKay, Willie Garson, and Willie’s adopted son Nathen at The Alliance For Children’s Rights 22nd Annual Dinner last night. Thanks to my friends Claudia and Mary for sending me all the wonderful photos!
One of USA Network‘s signature series, drama White Collar, is poised to wrap its run with a six-episode sixth and final season. There is no official word yet, but I hear the network and series producer Fox TV Studios are finalizing the deal. The size of the order looks like a compromise between a movie/mini-series conclusion USA had been considering and a full-length season, sought by producer FfvS. Season 5 ended with a cliffhanger involving the abduction of Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer). All of USA’s other established series — Monk, Burn Notice (also produced by FtvS), Psych and In Plain Sight — also had received a proper send-off. Moved to fall for the first time since its first season, White Collar got dinged up against in-season competition but rebounded in January when the conclusion of Season 5 averaged 2.8 million viewers in Live+Same Day, up 22% from fall, and 955,000 adults 18-49, up 32%.
With ratings still solid, the renewal negotiations zeroed in on the show’s economics. At this point in the run of a series, a network is responsible for the full production cost. With a well-known cast and extensive location shoots in New York, White Collar is an expensive show. What’s more, it is not owned by USA. USA parent NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment has made owning content a priority with the appointments of Jeff Wachtel and Dawn Olmstead to spearhead in-house production efforts. The network has a lot of projects in the pipeline and has been going through a portfolio changeover, replacing its older shows with new ones. From a business perspective, continuing White Collar at the current price tag might not have made a lot of sense for USA. But from a legacy standpoint, the show — which boasts one of the network’s most recognizable stars in Bomer and is one of is USA’s best critically received series — deserved a proper conclusion. (FtvS also had been willing to shoulder the cost of a final season and was open to a lower license fee.)
I spent a few weeks transferring our 600+ videos to a brand new media archive! Unfortunately, the previous videos script has become obsolete and our web host will no longer be supporting it. It was a lot of hard work, but I feel it is definitely worth it in the long run. Some of the positives are improved stability and less database errors, the layout matches the rest of the site, you can easily rate and share videos through social media, and you can also post comments about videos the same way you post comments here. Please let me know if you encounter any broken links! I’ll try to add more features in the left sidebar to make your viewing experience even better. I also still need to add a lot more “White Collar” clips and will try to work on them the next few months. Thanks, and hope you like it!
I added photos of Matt attending the “Space Station 76″ Premiere at the 2014 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival, Sony’s Acquisitions Group SXSW Party, and the “Space Station 76″ Party At De Nolet back on March 8th. Thanks to my friend Crayen for sending me all the photos! I’m spending a few days in Los Angeles, but will catch up on any other updates I missed when I get back home.
Update! Here are some videos from the 2014 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival.
MARISA: It would be hilarious to say, “I love it, there’s nothing better than a Marisa Coughlan performance.”
MATT: You always hope that you are involved in the story that you can sort of remove your ego from the equation and sort of see the story objectively. But it’s difficult, you know. Certain jobs maybe it’s easier than others.
MARISA: This one is a little bit easier because it’s its own world. It’s not a random episode of a TV show. We’re on a spaceship; we’re in the 70’s kind of world. So you do get to escape into it a little bit. But I typically find it difficult to watch myself.
MATT: Yeah, it’s pretty hard.
Tell us a little more about the movie.
MATT: What I responded to for this movie was the whole idea suburban duality having grown up in the suburbs myself and space is this sort of gave it the sense of alienation but having that idea that if we just live on the right space station, if we do the right thing, our lives will be perfect and we won’t have any problems and then it’s like one of those great John Cheever short stories near that time period where everyone’s shadow starts to slowly bubble to the surface and you see their inner demons come to life. Having grown up in the suburbs myself I respond to that. I play Ted who is married to Misty and is a mechanic and he very much wants to fix things. He’s one of those people where no good deed goes unpunished. He wants to do the right thing, is really trying to create the right life for his wife and it’s just circumstances not going his way.
And you’re kind of bitter, aren’t you?
MARISA: I am. What I liked about it with the character is you don’t necessarily totally get what’s going on with my character right away. I seem like a nice wife and a nice mom and then it doesn’t take long for “Oh no, she’s a horrible human being. She is awful.”
MATT: In Misty’s defense I think Ted made a lot of promises to her that I think. Having come from earth which is not a very desirable place to live at this point, he probably had to work his way up in the ranks . I think he promised Misty a lot of things that just did not work.
MARISA: This is true, this is true.
MATT:I mean how else could I be with someone this hot? I promise her false things.
“White Collar” fans around the globe have joined forces to Tweet #whitecollarforS6 on Monday, February 24th at 12:00 noon EST – 9:00 am PST – 6:00 pm Europe Centrale. We’re hoping to get #whitecollarforS6 trending.