Felicity Jones, who played Ruth Bader Ginsburg in biopic, explains why the Supreme Court Justice was a modern-day superhero

Kevin Polowy
·Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment
·3 mins read

This article was originally published Jan. 7, 2019.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at the age of 87 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, transcended her role as Supreme Court Justice into full-fledged pop-culture icon — at least by those who agree with her progressive stances and her vital role in the women’s rights movement.

During a 2018 interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Felicity Jones — the Oscar-nominated actress who played “The Notorious RBG” in the biopic On the Basis of Sex — explained why the film’s director, Mimi Leder, often referred to Ginsburg as a “modern-day superhero.”

“I feel that she’s a pioneer,” said Jones (The Theory of Everything, Rogue One), who played a young Ginsburg breaking glass ceilings at Harvard Law School and taking on a landmark gender discrimination case that would set her career in motion. “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.”

Jones released a statement Saturday honoring the life and legacy of her film subject: “Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave us hope, a public figure who stood for integrity and justice- a responsibility she did not wear lightly. She will be missed not only as a beacon of light in these difficult times but for her razor sharp wit and extraordinary humanity. She taught us all so much. I will miss her deeply."

Leder weighed in on Justice Ginsburg’s passing with an Instagram post, as did On the Basis of Sex costars Justin Theroux and Kathy Bates.

"RBG I will never forget you,” Leder wrote. “Thank you for profoundly changing the world with your fiercely brilliant powerful mind, heart and soul! Your courage and bravery paved the way for us all. We will continue the fight in your name. Warrior!!! Rest in Peace and Power my dear friend Madam Justice."

"I am heartbroken. I have no words for the hole that has just been blown through us,” posted Theroux, who played contentious ACLU legal director Mel Wulf. “Thank you for your service Justice Ginsburg. We’ll miss you RBG. I love you Ruth."

Wrote the Oscar-winning Bates, who played late judge and activist Dorothy Kenyon: "RBG 'Now she belongs to the Ages.' Stunned. Heart broken and very afraid. We must take up her mantle."

On the Basis of Sex can be purchased on Amazon.

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

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