Circuit Breaker Interview: Isis Mussenden and Nelson Coates Discuss Crafting the World of Ruth Bader Ginsburg for ‘On the Basis of Sex’


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has served on the US Supreme Court since 1993. And 25 years later, two films would be released the woman some consider something of a superhero. Earlier in the year, the documentary “RBG” gave audiences a portrait of the woman who has spent her life in the service of others.

The second is a narrative feature from director Mimi Leder. Written by the nephew of Ruth and Martin Ginsburg, the film tells the story of the only case the two renowned attorneys ever argued together, Moretz v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. “On the Basis of Sex” stars Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Cailee Spaeny, Justin Theroux, Sam Waterston, Stephen Root, and Kathy Bates.

We recently had the chance to talk with two members of the film’s production crew: Costume Designer Isis Mussenden and Production Designer Nelson Coates.

Felicity Jones stars as Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Mimi Leder’s ON THE BASIS OF SEX, a Focus Features release.

Mussenden’s credits include an eclectic list of titles from “Albino Alligator” to “The Wolverine.” She follows up “On the Basis of Sex” with a highly anticipated Netflix acquisition, “Velvet Buzzsaw,” the latest from Dan Gilroy.

Felicity Jones stars as Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Mimi Leder’s ON THE BASIS OF SEX, a Focus Features release.

Coates also worked with Mussenden on “Albino Alligator” in 1996. Two years earlier, he earned a Primetime Emmy nomination for his work on the infamous television miniseries “The Stand” in 1994. Following “On the Basis of Sex,” he will be working on a television series with John M. Chu. He is also signed on for the highly anticipated adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights.”

Please enjoy these conversations with Isis Mussenden and Nelson Coates.

Awards Circuit would like to thank Isis Mussenden and Nelson Coates for discussing their work.

“On the Basis of Sex” is distributed by Focus Features and is now playing in theaters nationwide.

Be sure to visit our Official Oscar Predictions Page to see where “ON THE BASIS OF SEX” ranks among the contenders.