HBO's upcoming drama film The Normal Heart, adapted for the screen from the 1985 play by Larry Kramer, is about a gay activist in the early 1980s who fights to raise awareness of the often-unspoken of AIDS epidemic that was ravaging many communities but was too taboo for most people to address.
The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina and Julia Roberts as different people struggling with AIDS and with the culture of systemic ignorance.
These A-listers also walked the red carpet at the film's New York City premiere, and stopped to chat with ET's Rob Marciano about what made the film so important, and what they hope that their kids, and future generations, can learn from the film about AIDS and the largely-ignored AIDS epidemic of the 1980s.
"It was one of those unfortunate times in American history where our democracy, the people who lead us, the medical community, really, really dropped the ball," said Mark Ruffalo. "But through grace and love and determination, a handful of people changed the world forever."
In The Normal Heart, Rufflo plays Ned Weeks, the lead activist who chooses to throw himself and his cause into the spotlight through loud, confrontational activism, and he finds resistance from his friends in the gay community who wish to keep themselves away from the center of attention.
Julia Roberts plays Dr. Emma Brookner, a physician who has come across many victims of AIDS and HIV and wants to help Ned Weeks form his organization to raise awareness of the deadly disease.
When asked what she hopes future generations of kid's will learn from this film, and know about the era of AIDS in the 1980s, Roberts said, "Hopefully nothing, except in a history book. My children are little, and I hope by the time they are as tall as I am they will be like, 'What? What was this disease?' [I hope] that it is so gone, gone, gone they won't have any idea what this movie is about."
Check out the video for more from the stars of The Normal Heart, including Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons and Matt Bomer.
The Normal Heart premieres May 25 at 9 p.m. on HBO.