Actor Mark Ruffalo says compassion
for people drew him to the lead role in director Ryan Murphy's film
adaptation of Larry Kramer's Tony-winning play The Normal Heart.
In the upcoming HBO film, Ruffalo
tackles his first gay role playing Ned Weeks, the hero of Kramer's
play about the early days of the AIDS pandemic in New York City.
“I love people,” Ruffalo said in
response to HuffPost Live host Alyona Minkovski's inquiry about his
reasons for taking the part. “And I have a lot of compassion for
the struggle of people. 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.”
Ruffalo added that pioneering HIV/AIDS
activists “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,”
Ruffalo said. (The video is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)
The film's all-star cast includes Matt
Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons and Julia Roberts.
Bomer reveals he and Simon Halls married in 2011.)