Hanging With Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Legal Legend and Pop-Culture Icon

April 19, 2018
Updated 9d ago

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, associate justice of the Supreme Court and unlikely pop-culture icon, can now add documentary film star to her already gilded resume.

In the new film "RBG," to hit theaters May 4, audiences get an inside look at the life of the 85-year-old jurist who has served on the nation's highest court since 1993.

Though Ginsburg stands at just over five-feet tall, the film's co-director Julie Cohen said she has "a commanding aura."

"It's always pretty intimidating talking to Justice Ginsburg," said Cohen during an interview Thursday with Cheddar. She said she and her directing partner Betsy West, "always approached her with a bit of trepidation."

But that doesn't mean Ginsburg is without a sense of humor.

"She loves to laugh," said Cohen, who described the justice's reaction when the directors showed Ginsburg the comedian Kate McKinnon's impression of her on "Saturday Night Live."

"I think 'cracked up' would be an understatement," Cohen said.

The film sets out to honor Ginsburg's career and her legal legacy, but also gives credence to her new-found pop-culture status as "The Notorious RBG."

Before being nominated to the Court by President Bill Clinton, Ginsburg served as general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, and she was a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. West and Cohen had access to audio recordings of a young Ginsburg arguing for women's rights in front of the Supreme Court.

"You hear Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the young lawyer, with her forceful argument before nine male justices, convincing them that discrimination really does exist," said West.

For full interview, click here.