Mark Ruffalo Helps Bring 'The Normal Heart' to the Silver Screen

The actor talks about tackling the groundbreaking and heartbreaking subject matter.
4:34 | 05/12/14

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Transcript for Mark Ruffalo Helps Bring 'The Normal Heart' to the Silver Screen
Barbara all week long. Now, 30 years for "The Normal heart," the Tony award winning play to become a film. Early days of the AIDS crisis. Oscar nominee mark Ruffalo stars as Ned weeks, an advocate for the gay community struggling to raise awareness. We'll talk to mark in just a moment. First here's a look. We have been waiting for 14 months to see this and it's taken a year to get this meeting and you're late. Says who have. The government. What, our government? An epidemic. The centers for disease controlled declared a -- You can't not know this. Can you please reduce your level of hysteria. Certainly. We are so happy to have mark here with us. It is, boy, so powerful. Great cast, great story. Tell people a little about your character, Ned. Ned is -- was a celebrated writer who kind of finds himself on the front line of the outbreak of AIDS in the '80s, and he is sort of pushed into taking a lead, a political lead informing the world and his community of what is happening and what needs to happen in order for them to survive. And he's the alter ego of the playwright Larry Kramer. Larry. Who said he was so flattered with you because you are outspoken. You're an activist, as well. And what did you take away knowing what it is that you like to speak up and speak for those? Take away from the film? Take away from the film and playing that role in particular, because you consider him like the modern-day activist. Yeah, I think he's pretty much the godfather of modern-day activism, whether it's employed on the right or the left or the middle, these people sort have perfected modern activism and what I really got from him, though, was how much love the guy had. And that's kind of what won out for them. What carried them through these amazingly difficult times and cruel times was their love for each other, their love of America, the idea of what democracy really is and they sort of -- their sort of compassion and he really speaks with authority, with moral authority because he does come from that place. I'm glad you said it like that because it comes through, the love comes through and that is something that is so universal. Don't you think because we've seen it with other films that there are younger generations that aren't really quite aware of the struggles that have gone on and various issues so it brings a light to a new generation, don't you think? Yeah, this time in American history, modern American history really wasn't highly sort of covered by the media. Alternative media, yes. But not the mainstream media and I heard it takes a culture 30 years to be able to reflect on itself in a way that it can integrate a certain time in its life. Just like it took 30 years for us to look at Vietnam and to really take that in and assimilate it. I think that we're ready to look at what the AIDS outbreak years were like, who were the heroes? Who were the villains? And remember as a whole generation of young people, a significant part of our history. It's really going -- I'm telling you, it's going to open a lot of eyes. Speaking of young people they like superheroes too and -- Yeah. "The avengers," hulk. Coming back. Hulk is come back with a vengeance. We're working on "Avengers 2" right now in London and -- I like that. That's probably the best fight scene ever. Bar none, bar none. Well, you are a true renaissance man, mark Ruffalo. You really are. You just run the gamut. Always a pleasure to have you here and this is an important film for people to see. Thank you very much. "The Normal heart" premieres on HBO Sunday, may 25th and George

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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