On the Basis of Sex is the second film dealing with the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to come out in 2018, with both it and the previously released documentary RBG landing right in the heart of the awards race. Earlier this month, the On the Basis of Sex stars Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer (who respectively play the young Ruth and her husband Martin), director Mimi Leder and screenwriter Daniel Stiepleman joined me to discuss their film at Deadline’s eighth annual The Contenders Los Angeles all-day awards-season event at the DGA Theater.
In front of a packed invitation-only audience of Academy and key guild voters, Jones talked about how she has always wanted to play a lawyer and how Ginsburg was an inspiration. Hammer discusses breaking the “gender norm” of the ’50s and ’60s by not only playing a legal partner to his wife, but also a man who could stay home, cook and clean while his wife went to work.
Also in the onstage discussion, Leder talks about the strength of that marriage and how personal making this film was to her, while Stiepleman says that as Ginsburg’s nephew he got complete access to his Aunt Ruth’s files. As Leder says, “This is a movie about how change can happen.”
Check out our conversation above.