HBO Films' original feature adaptation of Larry Kramer's award-winning play 'The Normal Heart' has landed two more of its cast members: Johnathan Groff (pictured above) and Joe Mantello (pictured below). Groff and Mantello join an all-star cast including Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons and Taylor Kitsch.
Groff is best known for his roles on the series 'Glee' and 'Boss,' as Jesse St. James and Ian Todd, respectively. The twenty-seven year old actor is currently filming another made-for-television film: a comedy from Michael Lannan about three friends in San Francisco grappling with the experience of being gay in America. Groff's big break came on the TV soap 'One Life to Live;' this role in an HBO film is his largest casting to date.
Mantello has appeared in 'Law & Order' and 'Central Park West;' the actor is a Tony Award winner and a Broadway star. 'The Normal Heart,' a hit on Broadway, is a play about the rise of the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York City during the 1980s. Set between the years of 1981-84, 'The Normal Heart' is being adapted for television by Kramer, the original playwright. The HBO film will be directed by Ryan Murphy.
Groff will play Craig in 'The Normal Heart,' the first lover of Bruce Niles (Kitsch), an early victim of HIV-AIDS. Mantello will play Mickey Marcus, an instrumental member of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. 'The Normal Heart' is slated to shoot later this year for a 2014 release.
Murphy also executive produces 'The Normal Heart' along with Jason Blum, Dede Gardner and Dante Di Loreto.