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Is Ruth Bader Ginsburg a modern-day superhero? The 'On the Basis of Sex' cast debates.

·Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment
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Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been lionized like no other Supreme Court Justice in recent history — at least by those who side with her progressive stances and/or appreciate her vital role in the women’s rights movement. Last year alone, “the Notorious RBG” was celebrated in both a feature-length documentary (the sleeper summer hit RBG) and a narrative biopic (On the Basis of Sex, which expands to theaters nationwide this month).

In describing the challenges of directing On the Basis of Sex, which follows a young Ginsburg (Felicity Jones) through Harvard Law School and through a landmark gender discrimination case that would set her career in motion, filmmaker Mimi Leder went so far as to call the 85-year-old jurist a “modern-day superhero.”

During an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, the cast (mostly) concurred with that sentiment about Ginsburg, who it was announced Monday will miss her first public session in her 25-year SCOTUS term as she recovers from lung cancer surgery.

“I feel that she’s a pioneer,” said Jones (The Theory of Everything, Rogue One). “She’s someone who has pushed back against injustice. And someone who definitely understood injustice because she’d gone through it herself and then harnessed the anger that she felt in an incredibly productive way and gives us hope that change can happen.”

Added Justin Theroux, who plays contentious ACLU legal director Mel Wulf, “She’s the best kind of superhero because she’s real. But obviously unlike a superhero who can solve things in a day smashing around Metropolis, she took many, many years to create some of the changes she’s created and, by taking many chips out of the wall and through some incredibly hard work, has been able to effect some change that everybody gets to appreciate.”

Armie Hammer, however, declined to toe the company line.

“Respectfully, I disagree with Mimi,” said the actor, who portrays Ruth’s faithful husband, Marty Ginsburg. “Saying that she is a superhero makes her untouchable. Unattainable. It means that people watching her will think, Well, of course she did that. She’s a superhero. But this is the origin story of the woman behind that, the genesis of how this woman became what we do look at now, to be fair to Mimi, as a superhero. She is a woman. She is an incredible woman who changed the world by using just her brain.”

On the Basis of Sex is now playing in select cities and opens wide on Friday.

Watch RBG’s nephew Daniel Stiepleman describe how he persuaded her to let him write her biopic:

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