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Ending with a bang, graduating ATP students get a virtual visit from Jim Parsons

When you study at University of Utah College of Fine Arts, you’re not just introduced to some of the finest faculty members on the planet. You oftentimes also get to enjoy the benefits of those faculty members’ vast and esteemed networks, too. 

This was the case with the graduating seniors in the University of Utah Department of Theatre’s Actor Training Program (ATP), who got to have one final guest artist experience with assistant professor, Robert Scott Smith’s graduate school buddy — oh, and Emmy and Golden Globe winner — Jim Parsons.

Smith wanted to provide something really special to the ATP students who are graduating during this global pandemic, and a visit with Parsons was his Big Bang Theory (har har), especially because the two of them had their own experience graduating during a particularly challenging time.

“We finished our graduate work from the University of San Diego after 9/11,” Smith noted. “So, I thought the students might uniquely benefit from hearing how he faced life after school in what felt like a pretty uncertain world.”

In an intimate and invite-only Zoom meeting, Smith and Parsons bantered back and forth about their time together in school, and Smith posed questions to Parsons from the personal to the professional.

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<Larry Kramer, Author and Outspoken AIDS Activist, Dies at 84>

From Variety

 Jim Parsons on Larry Kramer’s Legacy and Working With Him on ‘The Normal Heart’

By Jim Parsons

I feel a little tongue-tied when asked to say anything about Larry Kramer; partly because, while I know him, I don’t know him nearly as well or as long as some of my friends and colleagues. But mostly I think I get nervous because I believe Larry Kramer to be one of the most influential, important people for the gay community that has ever walked this earth and I worry I could never do him justice. And, honestly, I probably can’t, but I’ll say this:

I was so scared to meet Larry when I signed on to be a part of the Broadway production of “The Normal Heart” in 2011. I was gay, I was on a nationally televised sitcom, and I had never had my “big coming-out news story.” And here I was, about to be in a seminal work about the AIDS epidemic, written by one of THE leading activists from that moment in time, who believed that only by showing our faces, as gay people, did we stand the chance of gaining the respect and equality we desired and deserved. Larry spoke the language of change, while I was most comfortable saying “yes, ma’am” and “no, sir.” I was scared Larry would think me weak — or worse, that he’d find a way to force me on the cover of People magazine.

But that’s not how my experience turned out. Instead, Larry was not only exceedingly kind to me, but our production was a success that sent all of us all over New York that spring-into-summer season to a slew of awards shows that felt, in many ways, like a long celebration of Larry. Larry came to the theater as many nights as he could, in his traffic-cone-orange jacket to pass out informative flyers about HIV to theater-goers after our show let out. New York legalized same-sex marriage one night while we were doing the play, from the stage I heard men and women sobbing many evenings toward the end of the show and, often, I could not hold it in myself and I joined them. It all culminated in Larry on stage accepting a Tony award.

I was prepared that summer for Larry Kramer to slap me into being a “good gay,” but instead he, his play, and the people who feel a calling to be a part of his work and watch his work, all loved me into a change that has affected my life and career ever since. And I am but a tiny drop in an Earth-sized bucket-full of incredible change Larry Kramer fought for. As gay people, as humans, we have lost a fighter who was also a history-keeper (where he got the energy to do so much is beyond me), but we have surely gained a saint.

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From The Hollywood Reporter  <full article in the link>

The 50 Most Powerful LGBTQ Players in Hollywood

LGBTQ representation in Hollywood is at an all-time high. Thanks to the showrunners driving authentic stories, filmmakers bucking decades-old heteronormative paradigms, actors emboldened to live more honestly and platforms bankrolling so much of it, being gay, queer, transgender or any other other has never been more widely embraced in the entertainment industry.

For its inaugural Pride issue, The Hollywood Reporter homed in on the talent and makers helping boost visibility and creating opportunities for members of the extended LGBTQ community. 

Jim Parsons

Actor, producer

A year after wrapping CBS' The Big Bang Theory, Parsons has leaned into telling LGBTQ stories. On camera, Parsons has appeared in The Boys in the Band and Hollywood. As a producer, his That's Wonderful banner — which he runs with husband Todd Spiewak — was behind the Emmy-winning Netflix shortform dramedy Special.

I'LL FEEL GOOD ABOUT HOLLYWOOD'S LGBTQ REPRESENTATION WHEN "When 'gay actor,' 'gay director,' 'gay writer,' 'gay story,' et cetera, are no longer labels even worth mentioning."

THE PERSON I THINK DOESN'T GET ENOUGH CREDIT FOR THEIR ACTIVISM "Larry Kramer. He was the only honest-to-God activist with a capital A I have ever met. You could sense the fire and the mission within him. It was invigorating and a little frightening — well, frightening to this sweet, gay, Southern boy who shies away from confrontation."



Edited by vonmar
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  • 3 weeks later...

Deadline Hollywood's annual "Contender TV" event took place today, a day of interviews with Emmy bound shows and actors.  "Hollywood" was one of the first shows up.  (a clip from the event)


Edited by vonmar
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Coinciding with Pride month, the Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics (GALECA) unveiled their nominations for the inaugural Dorian TV Awards on Tuesday. 

Sitcom Schitt's Creek leads with seven nominations, including best TV comedy and best supporting TV performance for Dan Levy. Ryan Murphy's Hollywood follows close behind with six nods. HBO's Hugh Jackman-starrer drama Bad Education and fantasy miniseries Watchmen each have four nominations. 

Jim was nominated for Best Supporting TV Performance - Actor

The winners will be announced Aug. 21.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter


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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/7/2020 at 3:24 PM, vonmar said:

Jim will be on "Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC) on Tuesday 8/11.

Seth's website is now showing Jim Belushi as tonight's guest instead of Jim Parsons, so it doesn't look like Jim is on Late Night tonight.

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  • 2 weeks later...

From The Wrap  (Emmy Hot List Issue)

How ‘Hollywood’ Star Jim Parsons Tried to Find the Heart of a ‘Despicable Character’

TheWrap Emmy magazine: “The job as an actor is to see the most seemingly despicable characters as the humans they are,” says the actor who played talent agent Henry Willson in Ryan Murphy’s miniseries.

When Jim Parsons was first offered the role of talent agent Henry Willson in Ryan Murphy’s limited series “Hollywood,” he was in what he figured would be a slow, contemplative stretch in his career. “I kind of had been preparing myself for the vast desert of ‘What’s next?’ that I knew was going to come after ‘The Big Bang Theory’ ended,” he said. “And I kind of looked forward to wandering around and figuring out more precisely, ‘What do you want?'”

But during the shooting of the upcoming, Murphy-produced and Joe Mantello-directed Netflix adaptation of the Broadway play “The Boys in the Band,” Murphy derailed Parsons’ plans for some time off by pitching him on “Hollywood.” The miniseries, which was nominated for a dozen Emmys, blends real movie-business figures from the 1940s with fictional characters to tell an alternative history in which Golden Age studios make huge strides toward tolerance and inclusion.

<full article in the link>


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