Whether you love Ryan Murphy and his signature style or hate him, you can't deny his success. The creator of numerous hit shows like "Glee," "The New Normal," and "American Horror Story" spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about his creative process and projects on the horizon.
Murphy acknowledges that his duties as a showrunner coupled with the grueling schedule of television production force him to be very cut and dried. "I'm very black and white about what I like or don't like, and I've always been that way," he explains. "I've always been sort of 'I love it' or 'I hate it,' and I think as a result I've always been a polarizing person. You either love me or you hate me."
The creator points out that much of his television source material is drawn from his own personality. "'The New Normal' is sort of based on my life, so [actor] Andrew Rannells is clearly me, and we have him say things that I say," Murphy said. "But I feel like people love Andrew much more than they love me, so he's helping my rep there. [Glee's] Rachel [Lea Michele] and Kurt [Chris Colfer] are very clearly based on me, and Jessica Lange this year on 'American Horror Story' is very much in my childhood obsession with Catholicism and trying to be without sin and failing and my journey through that. By the end of a season, I've always learned something about myself."
He continues, "What I like to do is to figure myself out through those characters. Like, why did I do that? Or, what was I trying to do there? It's cathartic, and I like to sort of give myself sometimes happy endings that I wish I had had. Like with Kurt's dad on Glee. My father died last year, and I had always wanted that relationship. Now I look at my father, and I feel like I've got to forgive him for some stuff."
Indeed, Murphy's trend of mining personal struggles and interests continues with his latest project, developing Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart" for the big screen. The project revolves around the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis in 1980s New York, told from the perspective of a gay activist attempting to raise awareness on the then largely ignored issue. "It scares me because I came of age sexually in the early 1980s, and I lost so many friends, and so it means a lot to me," Murphy said. "I really want young people to know what it used to be like and how that disease is still with us in a very deadly, horrible way. Larry and I have been working on this script for a year and a half, and every page has some sock to the stomach emotionally."
Check out the rest of the interview at The Hollywood Reporter, as it appears to be Ryan Murphy Day over there.