7 Larry Kramer #LoveWins Quotes, or Why He’s the Smartest Gay in the Village

Larry Kramer New Book
Larry Kramer, photo via Wikipedia

Writer and activist Larry Kramer is the subject of an upcoming HBO biopic and author of a new book. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter promoting both, Kramer shows why the fire in his belly that started ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) hasn’t been extinguished yet.

In a totally unapologetic manner, he talks about everything from Abraham Lincoln’s homosexuality, to Alexander Hamilton’s homosexuality, to Katharine Hepburn’s homosexuality, to Spencer Tracy’s homosexuality, to…well, everybody’s homosexuality. Below are some highlights that show why he’s the smartest gay in the village:

On the next generation of gays:

I’m happy that this new generation of kids won’t be condemned to the same unhappiness as I was.

On his new book:

I was tired of reading history books written by straight people who seem unaware that homosexuals ever existed.

On a queer perspective of history:

…[H]istorians always assume the heterosexuality of their subjects, sometimes in direct contradiction of available facts and evidence.

On Alexander Hamilton’s sexual orientation:

During the war, he wrote lots of love letters to a fellow officer whom he was very much in love with, a man who got killed during the war.

On Hollywood:

The truth is, Hollywood has always been a gay town. Even in the ’30s and ’40s, there were plenty of famous gay actors and directors who partied and socialized together. Cary Grant. Randolph Scott. Barbara Stanwyck.

On the tensions between art and politics:

In countries like France or Germany or South America, novelists regularly write about society and politics. And they’re not shut out of the mainstream because of it. It’s different here in America.

On if the recent SCOTUS decision gave him closure:

This has been an astounding week, but now is not the time to rest on our laurels.

Read the whole interview at The Hollywood Reporter.

Ryan Murphy’s ‘The Normal Heart’ Headed To HBO

Looks like I spoke too soon when I wrote with glee (get it?) that there’d be competing AIDS dramas in 2014’s Oscar race. The news hit the theater world today that Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of The Normal Heart, Larry Kramer’s autobiographical play about the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis, is headed to the small screen rather than your local multiplex.

Broadway World reports:

Now, a cable network insider tells BWW’s Rialto Chatter exclusively that the film will instead be an HBO television production, with a budget in the neighborhood of $15 million dollars. There is no word yet on a timeline for the project, or if the previously announced starry cast is staying aboard the project.

If true, this is a brilliant idea, as it is likely to give the film an even wider audience, and isn’t HBO’s first time doing a project of this kind, with their 2003 film of the Mike Nichols-directed ANGELS IN AMERICA (starring Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Patrick Wilson, Mary-Louise Parker, Emma Thompson, Justin Kirk, Jeffrey Wright and Ben Shenkman) being considered a large success for the network as the most-watched made-for-cable film in 2003, garnering critical acclaim and multiple Golden Globe and Emmy awards, among other numerous accolades.

It’s certainly a brilliant idea! Too bad the movie will be directed by Ryan Murphy, creator of the grating Glee, the increasingly batshit crazy American Horror Story, and the offensively silly The New Normal. But there will be a long monologue from Julia Roberts in which she screams from a wheelchair, so. 

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Matthew McConaughey Really Wants An Oscar For ‘The Dallas Buyer’s Club’

Celebrities! They’re just like us! Sometimes they are spotted at the airport looking emaciated and with terrible haircuts and mustaches! Yes, that’s Matthew McConaughey right there, who is looking gaunt and sickly for his role in the upcoming The Dallas Buyer’s Club, in which he’ll be playing an AIDS patient. Ladies and gentlemen, get your 2014 Oscar ballots ready because McConaughey is gunning for a trophy!

McConaughey was spotted last week at LAX while taking a break from filming the movie, which also stars Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto, who, according to E!, will be "playing a cross-dresser with AIDS." This sounds like a fun little flick, huh? How will this fare against Ryan Murphy’s big-screen adaptation of Larry Kramer’s masterpiece The Normal Heart? Well, Jennifer Garner is certainly a poor man’s Julia Roberts, who will be starring in The Normal Heart as a wheelchair-bound doctor (Ellen Barkin won a Tony for the role in the play’s Broadway production last year). The Dallas Buyer’s Club definitely lacks the star power of Kramer’s AIDS epic (Alec Baldwin, Mark Ruffalo, Jim Parsons, and McConaughey’s Magic Mike co-star Matt Bomer have all joined the cast of The Normal Heart). 

This match-up is really the Armageddon / Deep Impact of 2013 AIDS movies, huh?

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Your Daily Guide To Trending Topics

Every day there are some topics that are trending. Since many of them don’t make sense, we provide easy contextualization. Also, this way, you won’t actually have to know anything about anything.

Chaka Kahn
The music legend is being extensively searched this morning thanks to her appearance on last night’s American Idol finale (winner Phillip Phillips is the most searched term on Google today). Kahn sang “I’m Every Woman” with the ladies of Idol, an act that likely sent hundreds of thousands of teens to their Google, wondering who the hell she was. But Kahn wasn’t just there for a good time—the lady’s out for blood! Before the finale, she was asked whether she would replace Idol judge Jennifer Lopez if she were to leave. “Yeah, I’d do it," Kahn said. "They could use some truth up there. A little bit of truth, honesty. I’d like that."

Jim Parsons
Mr. Parsons, the star of the inexplicably popular television show The Big Bang Theory is getting Googled left and right this morning thanks to the long-time open secret that the New York Times finally confirmed yesterday: Yep, he’s gay. In the story, Parsons speaks about his upcoming role in Ryan Murphy’s big-screen take on Larry Kramer’s play The Normal Heart. “The Normal Heart resonated with him on a few levels,” the story read. “Mr. Parsons is gay and in a 10-year relationship, and working with an ensemble again onstage was like nourishment.” 

WR Tweets HIV Results
Buffalo Bills wide receiver David Clowney doesn’t have HIV. And he let everyone know via Twitter.  Wait, you don’t know who David Clowney is? He’s the football player who showed off his recent medical report declaring him free of HIV. Via a photo on Twitter. And he’s the most-Yahoo!ed person around this morning. Now, we’re all for any public figure encouraging people to get tested—and Clowney’s message did read “Got My HIV Results Back!! Thank God for keeping my body healthy and safe”—but this particular method is perhaps not the best way.

Kristen Stewart Pants

Every so often we’re reminded that celebrities in fact aren’t just like us. They wear crazy pants! So when actress Kristen Stewart showed up on a Cannes red carpet wearing a pair of splatter-festooned Balenciaga pants, people went nuts. They’re Yahoo!ing it like crazy, trying to find out who makes the pants and what all of the fashion blogs think about them. By now they probably have their own Twitter account and everything. In contrast, when you search for Stewart’s boyfriend and Twilight costar Robert Pattinson and the word “pants” most of what comes up are photos of his head Photoshopped onto the body of an underwear-clad model and also videos of him walking the red carpet with his fly down.

#JaiBrooks

Over at Twitter, Jai Brooks, a member of the Australian comedy troupe to Janoskians, is trending thanks to what seems like a lot of determined fans. At least it’s more interesting than the Justin Bieber death hoax and the currently trending #GhettoJobInterviewQuestions.

Jai 4

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Julia Roberts to Star in Ryan Murphy’s ‘Normal Heart’ Film

Here’s some exciting news for people who love depressing films about dying gay men: Ryan Murphy’s upcoming adaptation of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart has added some big names to its cast: Alec Baldwin, Jim Parsons, and Matt Bomer. They’re joining Mark Ruffalo, who will play the protagonist and Kramer’s doppelgänger Ned Weeks.

Larry Kramer’s play is an autobiographical account of the early days of the AIDS crisis in New York City. It follows a group of gay men who struggle to bring awareness to the disease by forming an advocacy group, based on the efforts of Gay Men’s Health Crisis, from which Kramer himself was ousted after bringing negative attention to the group with his out-spoken demands from the city’s leaders (particularly Mayor Ed Koch). It recently won a Tony for Best Revival of a Play for its run last year, and Ellen Barkin picked up a statue for her role as the wheelchair-bound Emma Brookner, a doctor who is one of the few in her field to pay attention to the disease’s spread among the gay population in New York.

Julia Roberts will play Emma Brookner in the film, which Ryan Murphy is directing. For those who got to see the fantastic production on Broadway last year, this pairing is quite surprising. First of all, the source material works best as a performance piece — it’ll be difficult to transfer a script that is primarily a string of loud, angry monologues. It’s also hard to imagine Julia Roberts stepping (or, really, sitting) into a role that was performed with such vigor and fierceness by Barkin, who completely earned her Tony by taking over the stage solely with the power of her famous voice. Can Roberts compete with an actress who was so able to demand the attention of an audience as she sits nearly motionless in a wheelchair? 

While I can see the importance of bringing Kramer’s story to a mainstream audience, it seems like the folks behind the film already have diluted the power of The Normal Heart. On the one hand, the HIV/AIDS crisis is still very much a crisis, and delivering Kramer’s (albeit divisive) message to those who would not seek out the play on their own is an admirable feat. But putting Ryan Murphy in charge, the guy behind such important and politically conscious offerings such as Nip/Tuck, Glee, American Horror Story, and Eat, Pray Love, seems like a major misstep. Let’s hope that there are some altruistic motives behind this proposed film (LOL, right?), which already seems like the kind of movie that solely exists for the potential to gather Oscars for the people who made it.