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Friday Briefs: Ryan Murphy to direct “Normal Heart,” Oprah on courting Rosie; Federer still hungry!

Happy Friday everyone!

Let’s ease into the weekend with some briefs illustrated by fitness guru and The Real World: Brooklyn alum Scott Herman who, dammit, I just can’t seem to get tired of looking at!

MURPHY’S HEART: I can understand that Larry Kramer was bitterly frustrated that Barbra Streisand optioned his play The Normal Heart to make a film then sat on it forever. But his public rant last week against the the Oscar-winning star was way over-the-top and best reserved for close friends at a dinner party or something.

I hope that Mr. Kramer, whose outspokenness I usually find admirable, can enjoy the fact that the film version of The Normal Heart will be helmed by one of the hottest properties in showbiz these days: openly gay Glee creator Ryan Murphy.

Mark Ruffalo, currently appearing in the hit The Kids Are All Right, will star.

“I’m directing it from Larry Kramer’s beautiful script and we’re going to shoot that in June of next year,” Murphy told MTV. “I think it’s an important story and I think Mark Ruffalo is just beyond brilliant so I’m very excited to be directing him.”

The story of the play closely follows Kramer’s life, with Ned Weeks representing Kramer during the period in 1981 and 1982 when he co-founded the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Other characters represent his brother Arthur Kramer and his other close associates.

Ryan, who also created television’s Nip/Tuck and cult fave Popular, directed Julia Roberts in the feature Eat, Pray Love which opened in theaters today.

OPRAH CALLING: Rosie O’Donnell has not been on television on a regular basis since she ended her turbulent year on The View back in 2007. But she’s been plenty busy with her daily radio show on Sirius and did the HBO special A Family is a Family is a Family (I love Rosie so I did not mention the disastrous variety special from a few years ago!).

Anyway, Rosie, who won gobs of Emmys for her syndicated daytime talk show over six seasons, will be launching a new daily talk show next year on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.

Oprah Winfrey told TV Guide Magazine how it all happened explaining that she “reached out to Rosie, went to her house, sat at her table and had a conversation about partnering. I always thought she was one of the best television talents in terms of being authentic and real and fun and presenting her genuine self.”

FOUR MORE FOR FEDERER?: He’s already the greatest male player in the history of professional tennis so what does Roger Federer want to do for an encore?

Win more!

After quarterfinal losses at this year’s French Open and Wimbledon, we Roger groupies were left wondering if our fave was ready to ease into retirement after winning a record 16 grand slam titles including this year’s Australian Open. He has not won a tournament since January and has slipped to number three in the world for the first time since 2003.

But Roger, who turned 29 this summer, tells the BBC that he badly wants to win next month’s US Open, a tournament that he has won five times and narrowly lost last year in a five-set final.

“I believe that having won three Grand Slams per season three times, and two per year a couple of times, it’s something doable for me,” he said. “I only play 16-20 tournaments per year, so I’m not overplaying, and that keeps the fire burning. …  I’m giving 100 percent for each and every tournament that I play because I don’t play a ton of tournaments,” he said. “Tournaments like Toronto this week and Cincinnati next week are important to me, too. The motivation is huge for the next few years. And obviously if I can win Grand Slams that’s fantastic, but they are not the only motivation over the next few years.”



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