Barbra Streisand on THE NORMAL HEART: 'I Tried Very Hard to Get It Made'
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Streisand is credited with being the first filmmaker to realize the potential of turning the 1985 play, which follows the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the U.S., into a feature-length film. The actress held an option on the project for 10 years and continued her efforts to bring it to fruition even after that option expired.
With Ryan Murphy's small screen adaptation heading to HBO this May, Streisand gave THR her own account of the events that transpired as she tried to produce the film.
"When I saw The Normal Heart in 1985 I was very moved and immediately contacted Larry to acquire the rights," she begins. "I tried very hard to get it made, but when it became clear that we couldn't raise the money to do it as a film due to the controversial nature of the material, I thought, "All right, we'll do it on TV." At least it would reach a wide audience. But HBO would only pay Larry $250,000 for the rights, and he would not let it go forward for anything less than $1,000,000, and no company was willing to move on it."
She continued, "In the press, Larry kept speaking out against me. But I think it's unfair to keep blaming me for the movie not getting made. I worked on it for 25 years, without pay. Larry had the rights for the last 15 years and he couldn't get it made, either. Those are the facts."