HBO Films’ THE NORMAL HEART Debuts May 25 on HBO Canada

— May 15, 2014

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TORONTO (May 15, 2014) – To win a war you have to start one. HBO Canada presents HBO Films’ THE NORMAL HEART, premiering Sunday, May 25 at 9 p.m. ET/MT on HBO Canada, day-and-date with HBO in the U.S. Directed by Emmy® Award winner Ryan Murphy (Eat Pray Love, GLEE) and written by Academy Award® nominee Larry Kramer (Women in Love), adapting his groundbreaking Tony Award®-winning play of the same name, THE NORMAL HEART tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s.The film takes an unflinching look at the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial. HBO Canada is a multiplex channel of Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central (Western Canada) and Bell Media’s The Movie Network (Eastern Canada).

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Click HERE for a sneak peek of THE NORMAL HEART.

THE NORMAL HEART stars Academy Award nominee Mark Ruffalo, who portrays Ned Weeks, a man who witnesses first-hand a mysterious disease that has begun to claim the lives of many in his gay community and starts to seek answers; Matt Bomer (WHITE COLLAR) as Felix Turner, a reporter who becomes Ned’s lover; Taylor Kitsch (Lone Survivor) as Bruce Niles, a closeted investment banker who becomes a prominent AIDS activist; Emmy Award winner Jim Parsons (THE BIG BANG THEORY) as gay activist Tommy Boatwright, reprising his role from the 2011 Broadway revival; and Academy Award winner Julia Roberts as physician Dr. Emma Brookner, a survivor of childhood polio who treats several early victims of HIV-AIDS.

The film also features Alfred Molina (An Education) as Ned’s older brother, Ben, a successful attorney; Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (LAW & ORDER) as Mickey Marcus, an instrumental member of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis; Jonathan Groff (HBO’s LOOKING) as Craig, Bruce’s lover, an early victim of HIV-AIDS; Denis O'Hare (HBO's TRUE BLOOD) portrays Hiram Keebler, Mayor Koch's gay aide; Stephen Spinella (Milk) Sanford, one of Dr. Brookner’s first patients; Corey Stoll (HOUSE OF CARDS) portrays presidential senior advisor John Bower; Finn Wittrock (Unbroken) plays Albert, a male model; and BD Wong (HBO’s OZ) portrays Buzzy, a nurse who works with Dr. Brookner.

In 1981, writer Larry Kramer hosted a gathering of six gay men and their friends to discuss the “gay cancer,” and to talk about fundraising for research. This informal meeting in Kramer’s home would lead to the formation of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), one of the first advocacy groups for HIV prevention and care. Kramer's play debuted at New York's Public Theatre in 1985 and was revived in Los Angeles and London, and off-Broadway. The 2011 Broadway revival garnered five Tony Award nominations, winning Best Revival, Best Featured Actor, and Best Featured Actress.

THE NORMAL HEART is an HBO Films presentation of a Plan B and Blumhouse production in association with Ryan Murphy Productions. Executive produced by Ryan Murphy, Dante Di Loreto (GLEE), Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity), Brad Pitt (Moneyball), and Dede Gardner (12 Years a Slave). Mark Ruffalo co-executive produces and Scott Ferguson (HBO’s TEMPLE GRANDIN) produces.

As previously announced, THE NORMAL HEART will receive its Canadian premiere at the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival on Friday, May 23, with Matt Bomer in attendance to present the film. The screening will be preceded by a cocktail reception. All proceeds from this event will benefit Inside Out and the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR). For more information please visit

All new HBO programming airs day-and-date with HBO in the U.S.

In Eastern Canada, the film will be available on TMN GO and HBO Canada OnDemand.

In Western Canada, episodes are available on HBO Canada HD, on the go with Shaw Go Movie Central appBell TV appTelus Optik on the go, and HBO Canada On Demand.


About HBO Canada

HBO Canada brings Canadians HBO’s current slate of signature dramatic and comedic programs, together with new and never-before-seen programming including comedy series, live specials, sporting events, behind-the-scenes content and titles from HBO’s extensive library – all in an uncut and commercial-free environment. HBO Canada is offered in high definition on HBO Canada HD and programming is accessible on TMN GO, on demand and online where available by service provider. For more information, please visit In Eastern Canada, HBO Canada is a division of Bell Media, which is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. In Western Canada, HBO Canada is offered by Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central (Western Canada).

About Movie Central

Movie Central is owned by Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR.B), a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, television broadcasting, children’s book publishing and children’s animation. Experience Corus on the web at


– HBO Canada –

For more information:

For The Movie Network (Eastern Canada):

Jessica Charbonneau, 416.956.8638 or

For Movie Central (Western Canada):

Owen McCorquodale, 416.479.6068 or