Meet Armie Hammer's Not-So-Secret Weapon: His Story Researcher

Before he signed on to play Ruth Bader Ginsburg's husband Martin in 'On the Basis of Sex,' the actor did what he always does: call Amy Stevens Hammond, who has been helping Hammer iron out his backstories since his 'Lone Ranger' days.
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Armie Hammer and Felicity Jones star as Martin and Ruth Ginsburg in 'On the Basis of Sex.'

When Armie Hammer signed on to play Ruth Bader Ginsburg's husband in On the Basis of Sex, the first call he made — the first call he always makes — was to Amy Stevens Hammond.

The 48-year-old story researcher, head of Heavy Water Prods., has been helping Hammer iron out his backstories since Lone Ranger. "I want to know what the most popular dish was at the time, what kind of cigarettes they were smoking," the 32-year-old actor revealed at a Nov. 29 Q&A at the new Breitling boutique at Westfield Century City.

"I like everything. ... She'll give me thousands and thousands and thousands of pages of stuff and I'll just get to read through with eye level. And anything that jumps out that would even remotely relate to something that's happening in the script, I'll say, ‘OK, well, now I know if I make this choice it's historically backed up.' "

Hammer leaned on Hammond for last year’s performance as James Lord in Stanley Tucci’s Final Portrait about Swiss painter Alberto Giacometti. "I have all of his correspondence between him and his mother, so I knew how he felt about everything,” he explained.

Hammond’s résumé boasts research work on films and TV including The People vs. O.J. Simpson, Prisoners, Birth of a Nation, Southpaw, NCIS: New Orleans and other Hammer projects like The Lone Ranger, Man From U.N.C.L.E. and J. Edgar.  

Hammond, who has also worked with Tom Cruise and Cameron Crowe, is apparently press shy: She did not respond to THR's request for comment.

A version of this story first appeared in the Dec. 18 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.