Ryan Murphy was so compelled to buy the rights to The Normal Heart and make it into a movie that he dug into his retirement account to make the deal.
There's a deeply personal reason why the director felt so connected to the piece written by Larry Kramer about the early days of the AIDS crisis in New York City: Murphy came of age as a gay man just as the AIDS crisis was beginning to unfold.
'Of course I had sex for the first time in 1981, the year the play begins, the year the AIDS crisis begins,' the 48-year-old Murphy told Huffington Post this week.
'So for me, I grew up thinking "Well I’m going to die." I thought, "I’m gonna die." Every day. I always thought like I was really on borrowed time, which is where I think a lot of my ambition came from, because I felt I have a lot to do and maybe not a lot of time to do it in.'
It was after finishing the movie, which will premiere on HBO on Sunday (25 May) that Murphy realized how cathartic it was for him personally 'and how much pain and loss and death that I had sort of filed away in my life.'
'It was very powerful, a very moving experience for me.'