Why Ryan Murphy Feels Like He's on "Borrowed Time"

Ryan Murphy joined Bethenny Frankel on her Just B podcast, where he opened up about a fear that his success could soon run out. Check out this exclusive preview of the Tuesday, Dec. 1 episode.

By Ryan Gajewski Dec 01, 2020 3:56 AMTags
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Ryan Murphy has a painful reason to explain why he relishes cranking out new projects.

In a preview clip from the all-new Tuesday, Dec. 1 episode of Bethenny Frankel's podcast, the prolific television producer and filmmaker discussed why he feels highly motivated to make the most of his time. 

"When I was growing up, when I came of age sexually, it was 1981," Murphy said on the Just B podcast. "It was right when AIDS began, so I went through, as a gay man, the entire AIDS crisis in the '80s and into the 90s—from '81 until '96, when the cocktail came about. And every day of my life, I thought, OK, well, this is it. I'm not going to make it."

The 55-year-old Ratched executive producer recalled that he attended "many, many funerals" while he was younger.

"A lot of this, I put into this television show I did called Glee," the six-time Emmy winner said about his Fox series that embraced the idea of seizing the moment. "That's a running theme on that show. So I always felt that I was on borrowed time. Like, I always felt that there was an expiration stamp on my ass, and I've been to many shrinks to talk about it. And it's almost like I still have that fear that it's all going to be taken away the next day. So it's very ingrained with my work ethic, where I'm like, I get an opportunity to create."

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Murphy went on to explain that part of his current career motivation is the memory of getting numerous projects rejected when he was first starting out.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

"I had many, many, many years of no's until I got a yes," added the director of Netflix's upcoming film adaptation of the musical The Prom. "And once I got that yes, I just kept going back for the yes. And if they're going to keep saying yes, I'm going to keep doing it."

Murphy's first big break in TV was as co-creator with Gina Matthews of The WB's Popular, which debuted in 1999 and aired for two seasons. He followed that with his first bona fide hit, FX's Nip/Tuck, which launched its six-season run in 2003.

His next hit? He has The Prom, starring Meryl StreepJames Corden and Kerry Washington, which debuts on Netflix on Friday, Dec. 11.

Episodes of Just B drop every Tuesday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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