Hi, my name is Claudia and I am going to help Liz here at MRC to keep up updated at best we can. To start I’ve added to the gallery in HQ pictures of Mark at Cannes to promote his new movie Foxcatcher. Tonight it’ll surely be the premiere of the movie so more pictures will come in. These cover the photocall and press conference for it. Enjoy!
Fresh off the plane from a film shoot in London, the down-to-earth Ruffalo took time from his frantic schedule to call Gay City News as he was rushing to a press event, with his three kids in tow. The agile, 46-year-old actor, who has tackled everything from the aimless drifter in “You Can Count On Me” to the Hulk in “The Avengers” blockbuster, is something of an activist himself, taking up the anti-fracking cause in upstate New York.
Our chat started out calmly enough, but before long Ruffalo became animated, if not downright fervent. Clearly Larry Kramer has seeped into his soul.
DAVID KENNERLEY: The film was so incredibly moving I was trembling. And your performance was the perfect mix of rage and sensitivity.
MARK RUFFALO: Thanks, I appreciate that, because I think it’s a good reflection of who Larry is. It’s important for people to see not only the anger but also the caring.
DK: What drew you to the role?
MR: It’s such an important time that few know much about, and I was honored to be part of that. It’s just such a great role. I’ve always loved the play and was excited to work with Ryan and expand it using the medium of film. I found myself afraid of the role and that usually means it’s worth doing.
DK: What were you afraid of?
MR: First off, I’m not used to handling that much language. Coming from a play, it’s very stylized, which is very different from most films. [Ned Weeks] is probably one of the most beloved characters in modern theatrical history and in modern gay history. And I’m straight. He has a deep center and I was worried that I wouldn’t get there, that I’d let a lot of people down.
DK: How would you characterize Ned Weeks?
MR: He is an incredibly intelligent, caring, righteous man with an incredible sense of self worth, unusual in a gay culture filled with shame. He was ahead of his time because he identified with other things besides his sexuality. He sees this outrageous injustice, becomes obsessed, and is not afraid of a battle. Ultimately, he’s looking for a connection to people in a profound way.
Just days after a poignant new trailer hit the blogosphere, actor Mark Ruffalo sounded off on his role in the much-anticipated HBO adaptation of Larry Kramer’s masterpiece, “The Normal Heart.”
“I love people, and I have a lot of compassion for the struggle of people,” Ruffalo told HuffPost Live’s Alyona Minkovski in an appearance to promote his clean water initiative “Water Defense.””I was growing up during the AIDS epidemic, and I saw how cruel and how insensitive people were to these people suffering. It sort of has been forgotten in our culture what happened during those times.”
Many of the pioneering HIV/AIDS activists depicted in the film, he added, “brought us to the point today…gay marriage is as common almost as marriage right now.”
“That was an important story that needed to be told, and I was honored to tell it with the folks that I got to tell it with, and having Larry Kramer’s words to convey it,” he noted.
Sophie Lippiatt (a freelance journalist whose “pen name” is Sophie Caldecott) started the #CapForStrat initiative, posting about it on her blog early this week. Their mission: to convince Disney/Marvel to send a copy to their home in the U.K., where her father has been given less than three months in his battle with prostate cancer.
She went straight to the actors, and wow did they respond.
As Sophie later wrote:
“When we started out on Monday evening, all we wanted to do was to make it possible for my father to see ‘The Winter Soldier’ and maybe to get a few superhero selfies to make him chuckle. In under 48 hours our mission was accomplished, and then … we kind of went viral.”
It’s not hard to see why. Credit for getting it stirred up goes to Mark Ruffalo, who was first to post:
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) May 14, 2014
Mark Ruffalo, knowing his host liked sweets, showed up at playwright Larry Kramer’s Manhattan home with pastries in tow — unaware that the then-77-year-old’s health now restricted such pleasures.
It was spring of last year and the actor was set to begin production on the long-attempted film adaptation of Kramer’s groundbreaking 1985 AIDS-political play, “The Normal Heart.” Little did he know it, but Ruffalo’s true audition was just beginning.
“Are you queer?” the playwright asked right off.
“No, I’m not queer.”
“Have you read my book ["Faggots"]?’
“Well, you have to read it, otherwise you can’t fully play this part.”
Ruffalo, recounting the exchange recently during a spirited conversation at a Hollywood hotel, called it his moment of recognition. “He was testing me,” the 46-year-old actor said with the sort of sheepish smile that hindsight affords. “And I remember just feeling a sense of fear in that moment.”
The actor, who has played roles ranging from a brawny green superhero (the Hulk in “The Avengers”) to a hapless sperm donor to a lesbian couple (“The Kids Are All Right”) in the course of his 25-year-career, now takes on Kramer’s quasi-autobiographical Ned Weeks, the ornery gay activist at the center of “The Normal Heart” who fervently tries to shake the public to action after a mysterious disease begins plaguing the gay community in the early ’80s. Even his friends at times find him beyond obnoxious.
After enduring a winding road from stage to screen, the story, which was significantly reworked, ultimately came to be marshaled and directed by Ryan Murphy and landed at HBO. It premieres May 25.
Imbued with passion, pain and fury, the drama beckons one to look back just as gay rights are undergoing a sea change. To remember — for some, imagine — a society before gay TV characters were a commonality and same-sex marriage an actuality in more and more places.
The action in “The Normal Heart” takes place between 1981 and 1984 in New York City, when the gay community was still in the reverberations of the Stonewall riots and the sexual revolution. It hones in on sexual politics during the early days of the AIDS crisis — with its central character undergoing moments of rage and powerlessness in the fight to raise awareness while most of his co-workers counseled a more moderate, step-by-step approach.
The film, which also stars Julia Roberts, Matt Bomer and Taylor Kitsch, comes on the heels of last year’s critically acclaimed “Dallas Buyers Club” and the 2012 documentary “How to Survive a Plague,” both of which tackled the early years of the AIDS crisis. That it finally has an air date is its own victory.
I have added photos of Mark attending “The Normal Heart” New York Screening last night and at “Good Morning America” yesterday morning. Thanks to Claudia for donating pictures!
I have added photos of Mark, Jim Parsons and Matt Bomer promoting The Normal Heart in New York on May 10.
Reminder: Mark is appearing on Live With Kelly & Michael today!