People Like Us: Inside Philadelphia

Make It Matter

November 15, 201835 min
In the 25 years since Philadelphia was released, we've made great progress in the fight against AIDS, but we still don't have an AIDS-free generation. Coca-Cola through its partnership with (RED) believe we can. Visit wondery.fm/people to learn more and donate today.

It was the cover of LIFE magazine: “Now no one is safe from AIDS.” Superstar Rock Hudson is already dead and everyone in Hollywood has lost someone to the dreaded disease. Filmmaker Jonathan Demme and screenwriter Ron Nyswaner want to make a difference the only way they know how: By making a movie. But a movie about a gay corporate lawyer who develops AIDS and is fired because of it? Who will pay to see this? What studio would dare make it? And will any star want to be in it? The pieces come together as Demme and Nyswaner lose friends and relatives to AIDS. A studio feels a duty to champion PHILADELPHIA, dozens of people living with AIDS participate in key scenes, and two of the biggest stars in the world - Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington - sign on to play risky roles that could break their careers.

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