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Felicity Jones pays tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 'She gave us hope'

In 2018, the British actor played the late justice in the film, "On the Basis of Sex."
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (left) and Felicity Jones (right), who played Ginsburg in the 2018 movie, "On the Basis of Sex."
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (left) and Felicity Jones (right), who played Ginsburg in the 2018 movie, "On the Basis of Sex."
/ Source: TODAY

The world is mourning the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and now Felicity Jones, the 36-year-old English actor who portrayed her in a 2018 movie, is remembering the iconic Supreme Court justice.

"Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave us hope, a public figure who stood for integrity and justice- a responsibility she did not wear lightly," Jones said in a statement to TODAY. "She will be missed not only as a beacon of light in these difficult times but for her razor sharp wit and extraordinary humanity. She taught us all so much. I will miss her deeply."

Jones played a young Ginsburg in the film, "On the Basis of Sex." The film was released shortly after "RBG," a documentary, and the 2015 book, "Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg" all of which helped turn Ginsburg into a full-fledged pop culture icon.

In December of 2018, Jones and co-star Armie Hammer, who played Ginsburg's husband, Marty Ginsburg, visited TODAY to talk about the movie and what it was like to meet the feminist icon in person.

"It's really nerve-wracking taking on someone who is such an icon and who's so incredibly beloved," Jones said, sitting down with Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie to talk about the film. "I'm a real fan girl of hers myself."

Jones recalled meeting the justice in preparation for playing the role.

"We were really fortunate to go and visit her and spend time with her and get to know her on a personal level," said Jones. She then recounted a funny story of Ginsburg's reaction to meeting the actors.

"When we went in, she just couldn't take her eyes off Armie Hammer," Jones said. "So she is a human!"

Hammer explained that since Ginsburg's nephew, Daniel Stiepleman, wrote the screenplay, which chronicles Ginsburg's early years, with constant input from his aunt, the justice gave the film her support and stamp of approval.

"She's very open," Jones said. "She had been part of every process of the film in its genesis. She was very welcoming."

Jones admitted that Ginsburg was initially wary of how a Brit would pull off her Brooklyn accent.

"It was really helpful listening to all these recordings of her in court," said Jones. "I became obsessed with Ruth Bader Ginsburg's vowel sounds and listening to that great Brooklyn sound that she has."

When Hoda asked if she was surprised to learn facts about Ginsburg's life that included finishing first in her law school class but not being able to get a job, Jones said that she was so impressed by everything Ginsburg went through.

"She had obstacles in her way the entire time," said Jones. "She was constantly pushing upstream. The system wasn't designed for her to be there and she broke it and changed it."

On Friday, celebrities and politicians around the world mourned the passing of the justice.

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, also offered a tribute following Ginsburg’s passing.

“With an incomparable and indelible legacy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg will forever be known as a woman of brilliance, a Justice of courage, and a human of deep conviction," she said in a statement shared with TODAY. "She has been a true inspiration to me since I was a girl. Honor her, remember her, act for her.”