The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons is to play a gay rights activist in a new film.
In Glee creator Ryan Murphy’s HBO film The Normal Heart, the actor famed for playing the socially awkward Sheldon Cooper will star alongside many A-list stars.
The film will take place during the HIV crisis in New York City in early 1980s.
Parsons will play Tommy Boatwright, a gay activist, the role that he played in the 2011 Broadway revival of the Tony-winning Larry Krammer play.
The cast includes Julia Roberts as a paraplegic physician who treats several of the earlier victims of the disease.
Mark Ruffalo will play a gay man who witnesses the disease begin to take the lives of many in his community, and Matt Bomer who plays a reporter in the film who becomes the lover of Ruffalo’s character.
Last year, Parsons became one of the biggest stars in the US to come out in the quietest way possible.
Speaking to the New York Times about acting in the Broadway version of The Normal Heart, the journalist wrote: ‘[The play] resonated with him on a few levels: Mr Parsons is gay and in a 10-year relationship.’
The Normal Heart production is scheduled to last over the summer with a premiere scheduled for 2014.