×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Why Armie Hammer Cooked for the Cast of ‘On the Basis of Sex’

Ruth Bader Ginsburg returned to her hometown on Sunday for the New York premiere of “On the Basis of Sex,” a biopic starring Felicity Jones tells the Supreme Court justice’s origin story. The 85-year-old Brooklynite received a standing ovation when she entered the Walter Reade Theater — a testament to the Notorious RBG’s rock-star status.

Ginsburg gave two mandates at the project’s outset: Get the law right, and get Marty right. For Armie Hammer, who plays Ginsburg’s late husband, that meant literally taking a page out of Marty’s book (cookbook, that is) and whipping up a meal for the rest of the cast.

“His recipes were written very much in his voice, so they were funny, they were witty, they were exact, and they were very detail-oriented,” Hammer told Variety on the red carpet. “The care that he took with his cooking also replicated the care that he took with his legal practice — and, in terms of his family, how good of a parent and a husband he wanted to be.”

So, is he on Marty’s level when it comes to the culinary arts? “I would like to think so, but I can tell you conclusively, no, I am not!”

Despite that, his time with Marty’s recipes paid off. He even got the coveted Ruth Bader Ginsburg seal of approved.

“Did you notice the scene in which he is in the kitchen chopping vegetables?” Ginsburg asked the crowd (which included surprise guest Hillary Clinton) during a panel after the screening. “That was very, very reminiscent of Marty.” (As the justice tells it, her first comment on meeting Hammer was that he was “rather taller than Marty,” to which he replied, “And you’re rather shorter than Felicity Jones.”)

Jones also earned Ginsburg’s praise for her performance. “The most remarkable thing,” the justice said, “is to hear Felicity Jones, who speaks the Queen’s English, sound very much like she was born and bred in Brooklyn.”

(l to r.) Armie Hammer as Marty Ginsburg, Justin Theroux as Melvin Wulf, and Felicity Jones as Ruth Bader Ginsburg star in Mimi Leder's ON THE BASIS OF SEX, a Focus Features release.

The “Rogue One” star, for her part, found the role daunting but impossible to refuse. “It’s definitely intimidating at first, playing someone who’s that deeply beloved, but I had such enormous respect for her,” she told Variety. “She’s someone who managed to completely change the system for the better and was considered a total outsider. She had obstacles against her the entire way, and she gives us such hope that change is possible”

When Daniel Stiepleman first set out to write the screenplay, he didn’t know it would be about someone who loomed so large in the culture — he was just trying to tell the story of his aunt.

“When I started this in 2011, it was pre-Notorious RBG, pre-Citizens United, so I thought I was writing the movie that was going to introduce the country to Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” he told Variety. “And it’s funny, in a way, I’m doing that even more so now. There’s a version of her that exists in the zeitgeist, and it’s kind of right, but it’s also kind of wrong. I think the big difference is in the zeitgeist she’s a superhero. If she’s a superhero, she has superpowers, and if she has superpowers, that means the rest of us can’t accomplish what she accomplished. But really, she’s a woman. And she’s a woman who did incredible things.”

Director Mimi Leder sees her subject the same way. “’On the Basis of Sex’ is an origin story, but Ruth Bader Ginsburg is not a superhero,” she said. “She’s a woman who, like countless generations of women before her and since, withstood the subtle slights and overt discrimination of the culture around her. She’s a woman who changed that culture with her intelligence, her eloquence, and the support of a good man, Marty Ginsburg.”

Leder hopes the film will inspire audiences to “use your voice, big or small, to change the things that are unjust and fight the good fight.” For her, that lesson feels more urgent than ever. “We’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go.”

More Politics

  • Devin Nunes

    Devin Nunes Files $250 Million Defamation Lawsuit Against Twitter

    U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes filed a $250 million defamation lawsuit against Twitter on Monday, alleging that he has been the victim of hundreds of hate-filled tweets. The suit also takes aim at Liz Mair, a Republican communications consultant who has attacked Nunes on Twitter, and the anonymous accounts “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and “Devin Nunes’ Cow.” [...]

  • Members of the public mourn at

    Peter Jackson: New Zealanders Stand 'United in Our Love' in Wake of Mosque Attacks

    “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson said Saturday that he and his fellow New Zealanders “stand united in our love and support for our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters” in the wake of the devastating terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch that left at least 49 people dead. “New Zealanders are devastated,” Jackson [...]

  • Steven Mnuchin

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Grilled Over Interest in Wife's Production Company

    WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was asked in a Senate hearing about a continued potential interest in Stormchaser Films, the production company founded by his wife, Louise Linton. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, said at a hearing on Thursday that the concern is that “there has been [...]

  • Police keep watch at a park

    At Least 49 Killed in Terrorist Attack on Two New Zealand Mosques

    Armed attacks Friday on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killed at least 49 people and injured dozens of others in what authorities called an act of terrorism. Four people – three men and one woman – were in custody Friday evening, New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said. One of them, reported to be [...]

  • Anti-Brexit remain in the European Union

    British Parliament Decides to Ask for Delay to Brexit

    The British Parliament has voted to ask for a delay to the U.K.’s exit from the European Union in a bid for more time to get squabbling lawmakers behind a deal on the terms of the withdrawal. The U.K. is currently due to leave the E.U. on March 29, but Thursday evening’s 412-202 vote in [...]

  • President Donald Trump listens to a

    N.Y. Appeals Court Rules Trump Can't Avoid Summer Zervos' Defamation Suit

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is not immune from a defamation lawsuit brought by former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos, even as his lawyers argued that the case should at least be deferred until the end of his term, a New York appeals court ruled on Thursday. Trump’s attorneys had argued that the Supremacy Clause of [...]

  • FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb.

    Beto O'Rourke Announces 2020 Presidential Bid

    WASHINGTON — Beto O’Rourke announced on Thursday that he is running for president in 2020, saying that the “challenges we face are the greatest in living memory.” He and his wife posted a video to launch the campaign. I am running to serve you as the next president. The challenges we face are the greatest [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content