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.
The first on location shots from Ryan Murphy's highly anticipated HBO film adaptation of Larry Kramer's acclaimed AIDS drama THE NORMAL HEART have just been leaked, showcasing leading ensemble player Taylor Kitsch.
Kitsch portrays Bruce Niles, a compatriot of protagonist Ned Weeks (Mark Ruffalo) and an early activist as well, though closeted, unlike out and loud Weeks - a matter which becomes one of many sources of tension between the two characters throughout the groundbreaking, period-set drama.
In the shots, Kitsch cuts a compelling figure in spiffy period-apropos attire, showing off his trademark blond locks while exiting a Manhattan building, appointment book in hand.
Also, images of Kitsch opening a window and dropping a 1980s-era video camera out of it have appeared, as well.
THE NORMAL HEART stars Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Taylor Kitsch, Jonathan Groff and Julia Roberts, also featuring appearances by Joe Mantello, Armand Schulz, Joel Grey, Frank De Julio and more. It is directed by Ryan Murphy.
THE NORMAL HEART will premiere on HBO early next year.
View the first location shots of Taylor Kitsch in THE NORMAL HEART below.