Legendary film icon Barbra Streisand and gay activist Larry Kramer failed to bring ‘The Normal Heart’ to the cinema, But who’s the one to blame?, Well according to EW each of them says it?s the other?s fault.
Entertaiment Weekly has the story:
Streisand calls Kramer ?brilliant, courageous, stubborn, and self-destructive.? The writer?s response? ?She never put her money where her mouth is.?
?I love this play, and I love its cause,? says Streisand, who first purchased the film rights to The Normal Heart after seeing its original Off Broadway incarnation in 1985. (A Tony-nominated revival is currently running at Broadway?s John Golden Theatre.) Over the next ten years, she worked with Kramer and another screenwriter to adapt the story, which focuses on the struggles of writer Ned Weeks (Kramer?s literary alter ego) during the early days of the AIDS crisis in NYC. Streisand intended to direct the film and take the part of strong-willed Dr. Emma Brookner, a supporting role in the play.
But a movie never materialized. According to Streisand, Kramer was unwilling to allow adjustments that were necessary to make the script more cinematic. ?I was using the best of [the play]. But there are certain things you do for film,? she tells EW. ?Larry only wanted to use his screenplay. I couldn?t have my hands tied artistically.?
Kramer has another version of the story. He says Streisand rewrote the script to make her character the star, marginalizing the gay characters who are at the center of the play. ?She cut Ned?s part so much that when she offered the movie to a major star who had played the part on stage, he said, ?I can?t play this. The character has no motivation anymore,?? claims Kramer. ?She subsumed all of the motivations into her part, as the doctor.? (A rep for Streisand did not immediately reply to request for comment on Kramer?s remarks.)
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