Before she became a U.S. Supreme Court justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a struggling attorney trying to find her way in a male-dominated world. From the time she was a Harvard Law School student to even after she earned her place at the table, Ruth was reminded, by men, that women can’t — but that only fueled her fire for change.
ON THE BASIS OF SEX is the story of RBG, her fight for equal rights and the numerous obstacles she’s had to overcome throughout her career. The bio-drama, which was written by Ruth’s nephew, Daniel Stiepleman, focuses on a groundbreaking tax case that opened the door for Ruth to challenge sex-based discrimination.
To get ready for the film’s Christmas release, learn more about the cast and their Oscar® potential.
You may know Felicity Jones for her performance as Jyn Erso in ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY or Jane Hawking in THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, for which she received critical acclaim and Golden Globe and Academy Award® nominations. In ON THE BASIS OF SEX, Jones transforms into a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg, complete with New York accent. (Jones was born in the U.K.) Jones has yet to be nominated in the Best Actress category, but that may change come this awards season. Several sources predict she will be a contender.
Armie Hammer’s breakthrough role came in 2010 with THE SOCIAL NETWORK, but 2017’s CALL ME BY YOUR NAME made Armie a household name. For his role as Oliver, Hammer received his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor, opposite star Timothée Chalamet. In the RBG bio-pic, Hammer supports Jones as Martin “Marty” Ginsburg, Ruth’s encouraging husband and legal partner. There’s already buzz his performance may earn him another Golden Globe nomination and possibly his first Academy Award nod.
Justin Theroux plays former legal director of the ACLU Mel Wulf. In the courtroom, Mel is an ally to Ruth, but privately he fears the case is a “declaration of war” that will have dire consequences if they lose. Though Theroux has appeared in 58 films, including the 2018 comedy THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME, he has yet to be nominated for a Golden Globe or Academy Award. Unfortunately, his role in ON THE BASIS OF SEX may be too small to receive major award attention.
“Law & Order” actor Sam Waterson fills the supporting role of Erwin Griswold, former dean of Harvard Law School. In an early dinner party scene, Erwin asks Ruth and the other eight then-enrolled women why they’re “occupying a place that could have gone to a man.” Unfortunately, he’s only one of many men who are angry about the women’s movement.
Academy Award winner Kathy Bates (MISERY) rounds out the cast as Dorothy Kenyon, a New York lawyer, political activist and feminist inspiration to Ruth. In real life, RBG added Kenyon as a co-author of her brief for Reed v. Reed — a 1971 Supreme Court case that for the first time extended the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause to women — in recognition of Kenyon’s trailblazing work.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg also makes a small cameo. Don’t miss her story on the big screen. Get your tickets to ON THE BASIS OF SEX at AMC today.