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When news broke in December that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had undergone surgery to remove two cancerous nodules in her left lung, many Americans — including RBG directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West — were worried for the 85-year-old’s health.
Cohen on Monday told The Hollywood Reporter at a reception for the Producers Guild Award nominees in New York that, like others, she and West were concerned for “the implications for our country, but also just as a human being that we really care about.”
“Fortunately, because of the film, we’re in touch with her family, so we saw her granddaughter on Friday night and she was able to give us sort of the more on-the-ground update that she’s doing well and going through her recovery and doing everything she needs to do to get back to work,” said Cohen.
In the three years it took to make RBG, both Cohen and West said they’ve come to realize that Ginsburg is “pretty tough,” said West. Though the documentary has garnered a number of nominations and awards elsewhere, West said the PGA’s recognition (RBG was nominated for best documentary motion picture) was particularly gratifying.
“Our producing team was a team of women. Pretty deliberately,” West said. “Not that we didn’t work with a few talented men, but all of the top creative roles — Julie and I, our coordinating crews, our associate producers, our editor, our second producers. … Women get things done. And it’s exciting to have that recognized.”
Cohen said that she’s been gratified to see RBG receive praise from people of all ages, too: “Just seeing so many people, particularly women, of all generations just responding really deeply to Justice Ginsburg’s amazing story — and then seeing the justice’s response to that response — it was sort of a dream come true.”
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