Director/producer Ryan Murphy has urged young fans to make a difference in the world by drawing inspiration from The Normal Heart playwright and AIDS activist Larry Kramer and becoming champions of good causes. The Glee and American Horror Story director escorted ailing Kramer to the stage as he picked up the Outstanding Television Movie honour for his recent TV adaptation of The Normal Heart at the Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Monday (25Aug14).
Murphy gave special recognition to the film's actors, Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo, for lending their star-power to the project - about Kramer's efforts to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS in the early 1980s - to help move it into production, almost 30 years after Barbra Streisand obtained the rights to the 1985 play with a view to turning it into a small screen movie.
Stepping up to the mic, Murphy said, "We're only here because of one person, and that's Mr. Larry Kramer. We did this for him.
"Special thanks to our wonderful cast, particularly a shout out to Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo, who got this movie made. After 30 years, it took the superpowers of Erin Brokovich and The Incredible Hulk to finally get this thing alive."
Murphy then used the second part of his acceptance speech to encourage young humanitarians to lead the charge for change.
He continued, "We're gonna use the rest of our time to ask young people watching to become Larry Kramers, to find a cause that you believe in that you will fight for, that you will die for. Go online, look up amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research), look up the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation."
Murphy wrapped up his speech by dedicating his Emmy to "the hundreds of thousands of artists who have passed from HIV/AIDS since 1981", adding, "Your memory and your passion burns on in us, and this is for them. Thank you."
The filmmaker's moving tribute prompted transgender Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox to take to Twitter.com after the speech and applaud Murphy for his words of wisdom, writing, "#RyanMurphy's speech made me tear up. Bravo."
Jyoti Amge, the world's smallest woman, has joined the cast of American Horror Story: Freak Show. TV drama creator Ryan Murphy announced the news via Twitter.com on Wednesday (13Aug14). The Indian woman, who suffers from growth disorder achondroplasia, was officially named the world’s smallest woman by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2011. Amge joins Patti LaBelle among the newcomers to the show, which features Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates.
Patti Labelle has signed on to join the cast for the new season of TV hit American Horror Story. She will appear in four episodes of Glee creator Ryan Murphy's spooky show, titled Freak Show.
The period drama will feature previous American Horror Story stars Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy, Sarah Paulson, Gabourey Sidibe and Evan Peters, while Michael Chiklis, Wes Bentley and John Carroll Lynch have also joined the cast for the third season.
American Horror Story: Freak Show debuts on U.S. TV screens in October (14).
Actor Neil Patrick Harris has landed a role in the new American Horror Story series after writing to creator Ryan Murphy and asking for a part.
The former How I Met Your Mother star, who is currently starring on Broadway in Hedwig & the Angry Inch, recently told Entertainment Weekly Radio that he had penned a request note to Murphy, suggesting himself for upcoming series, Freak Show.
He said, "I wrote a letter to Ryan asking if I can be in it, even though I wasn't even available to be in it. To do one that involves any kind of freak, circus nonsense is going to be so unsettling to watch."
Murphy caught wind of the radio chat and has since responded to Harris via Twitter, writing, "@ActuallyNPH of course you can be on Freak Show! I have a role I think you'd love."
Harris previously worked with Murphy in an episode of Glee, for which he won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 2010.
Fargo and Orange Is The New Black were the toast of the TV world at Thursday night's (19Jun14) Critics' Choice Television Awards, scooping three prizes each.
The small screen revamp of the Oscar-winning crime film won the prize for Best Mini-Series, while its stars Billy Bob Thornton and Allison Tolman were named Best Actor in a Movie or Mini-Series and Best Supporting Actress in a Movie or Mini-Series, respectively.
Netflix's hit women's prison series was named Best Comedy Series at the ceremony in Beverly Hills, California, and Uzo Aduba earned the Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series award, while her co-star Kate Mulgrew, tied for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series with Mom's Allison Janney.
Janney also picked up Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series for her recurring role in Masters of Sex. Upon receiving the trophy for Mom, Janney quipped, "Well this is the climax of my career. This is extraordinary. This has been an amazing year for me."
The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons was named Best Actor in a Comedy Series and Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus landed Best Actress in a Comedy Series, while Andre Braugher took the Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for police programme Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
In the drama categories, Breaking Bad won Best Drama Series for a second consecutive year, and Aaron Paul picked up Best Supporting Actor for his role in the popular show. Also earning a back-to-back Best Actress win was Tatiana Maslany, who repeated her 2013 triumph for her multiple clone roles in sci-fi show Orphan Black.
Adding to his Oscar win earlier this year (14), Matthew McConaughey went home with the Best Actor honour for True Detective, while Bellamy Young earned Best Supporting Actress as the scheming First Lady on Scandal.
It was also a big night for TV titan Ryan Murphy, whose thriller American Horror Story: Coven earned Jessica Lange the Best Actress in a Movie or Mini-Series accolade, while his AIDS drama The Normal Heart won two prizes, including Best Movie or Miniseries, and Best Supporting Actor in a Movie or Mini-Series for Matt Bomer.
In addition, Jim Parsons presented his The Normal Heart director with the Louis XIII Genius Award in recognition of his contribution to television. Upon accepting the honour, Murphy recalled the slew of online criticism he received following the announcement of the award, and admitted he tried to back out as a result. He also shared a piece of advice, telling the audience, "The one genius rule I have made in my career is to surround yourself by people more talented than you and then take all the credit. The last part is actually not true."
The awards show was hosted by Cedric the Entertainer and presenters included Colin Hanks, Angie Harmon, Diane Kruger, Sarah Silverman, Christina Applegate and Christian Slater.
Glee creator Ryan Murphy is set to receive the LOUIS XIII Genius Award at the upcoming Critics' Choice Television Awards. Murphy, who is also the brains behind American Horror Story and Nip/Tuck, will be honoured for becoming an icon in the television industry during the Los Angeles ceremony on 19 June (14).
Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner is to be honoured for his contribution to TV at the upcoming International Emmy Awards. The writer/producer/director will follow in the footsteps of previous recipients including Glee boss Ryan Murphy and Lost creator J.J. Abrams when he receives the International Emmy Founders Award at the prizegiving gala later this year (14).
Bruce L. Paisner, president of the International Academy of Television Arts & Science, the body behind the International Emmys, credits Weiner's work on Mad Men with reinventing period dramas on the small screen.
He says in a statement, "With Mad Men, Matthew Weiner redefined period television and created a global cultural phenomenon that has dramatically changed the television landscape. We look forward to honouring his creative talent with our Founders Award, a few weeks before the final episodes of this great series."
The award will be handed out at the 42nd International Emmy Awards Gala on 24 November (14) in New York City, just weeks before the final episodes of Mad Men are due to air in the U.S. in early 2015.
The show, starring Jon Hamm as a New York advertising executive in the 1960s, has been on air since 2007.
After Ryan Murphy's The Normal Heart gobsmacked critics and audiences alike with its unflinching look at the affect of AIDS on the gay community, HBO has picked up yet another period piece detailing the struggles of gays in New York.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO has picked up the script for Open City, a period piece that profiles New York in the late 60's. The drama, from writer David Kajganich and director Adam Shankman, will reportedly follow a diverse set of characters from all corners of Manhattan, as they navigate a city going through a cultural metamorphosis. The project will also examine the gay community's unlikely partnership with New York's mafia with the opening of a West Village night club.
Ever since the critical success of AMC's Mad Men, the television landscape has been littered with period dramas claiming to "explore" a place and time in the past, but all those imitators stumbled when they found that they had nothing of substance to really say about their given era. While Mad Men was having a deep discussion about the cultural mores of the sixties, all of those other pretenders (The Playboy Club, Magic City, Pan AM... the list goes on) were just playing dress up. Open City, on the other hand, looks to have some very important things to say about the time period and the city it depicts, and this project may fill a very big hole once Mad Men wraps up its seventh season.
With the success of projects like Looking and The Normal Heart, HBO is quietly becoming the destination for gay-themed television. There was a time where TV would sideline gay characters, only featuring them as broad stereotypes, but HBO has begun crafting interesting, and unpatronizing glimpses at the characters and stories that have been sorely missing from our television sets.
Actor Matt Bomer spent a month living apart from his family as he prepared to play an AIDS victim in new TV movie The Normal Heart, so he could fully embrace the mindset of his desperate character. The Magic Mike star slimmed down drastically to portray Felix Turner in Ryan Murphy's screen adaptation of the hit Larry Kramer play, about the early days of the AIDS epidemic, and he temporarily moved out of the home he shares with his publicist partner Simon Halls and their three children to perfect his transformation.
He tells Vulture.com, "The whole point of the weight loss was obviously to create a certain aesthetic that Ryan was happy with, but also to create that physical reality for me. When the cameras were rolling, I wasn't having to affect anything; so much of it was already there. "I had separated myself from my family, I was living on my own for, like, a month, and I think that helped me sort of get into Felix's head in a way that I haven't had an opportunity to do with other characters before."
Bomer also called in a professional counsellor to make sure his sons would be OK with dad's drastic weightloss - but he admits he needn't have worried. He adds, "We definitely prepared our kids really early on, before I even started losing weight. I spoke with a professional who told me how to relay it to them in language they could really understand, and they were great about it. "Maybe it's a luxury of having all boys, who are like, 'Yeah! Go!' You know, it's like they were my cheering squad. And I remember, at one point I had lost 25 or 30 pounds and I came home, and it's such a testament to childhood imagination, because they were like, 'Oh, I thought you were going to be skinnier than that.' And I was like, 'Hey, I'm working here!' "But they were really great about it, and understanding. I think that our oldest son, who tends to be a caretaker, said at one point, 'When are you going to get to eat pancakes with me again?' But that was about as difficult as it seemed to get for them."
Bomer's amazing transformation stunned viewers watching the TV movie in America on Sunday night (25May14). The film also featured Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts.
Barbra Streisand has hit back at writer and gay rights activist Larry Kramer after he accused the legendary entertainer of stalling on plans to adapt his AIDS epidemic stageshow The Normal Heart for the screen because she allegedly finds gay sex "very distasteful".
Kramer has attacked the singer/actress in a New York Times interview, in which he reignites their decades-long feud after Streisand obtained the film rights for his hit 1985 production, but failed to bring anything to fruition for years. The playwright suggests the veteran superstar was uncomfortable with the subject matter from the start and claims it was one of the main reasons for the hold-up.
Recalling an early meeting with Streisand, he states, "I said, 'I really think it's important that after eons of watching men and women make love in the movies, it's time to see two men do so.' I bought her a book of very beautiful art pictures of two men making love, and she found it very distasteful."
However, Streisand has fired back at Kramer, insisting she was committed to promoting "the idea of everyone's right to love. Gay or straight!" In her statement to the Times, she continues, "Larry was at the forefront of this battle and, God love him, he's still fighting. But there's no need to fight me by misrepresenting my feelings. "As a filmmaker, I have always looked for new and exciting ways to do love scenes, whether they're about heterosexuals or homosexuals. It's a matter of taste, not gender."
Glee creator Ryan Murphy subsequently used his own funds to buy the rights to The Normal Heart and his TV movie, produced via Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment firm, is due to air in the U.S. on Sunday (25May14). The film version of the award-winning play, based on Kramer's efforts to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS during the 1980s, stars Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts and Matt Bomer.