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."
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.
"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.