Rebecca Ferguson

Rebecca Louisa Ferguson Sundström (born 19 October 1983) is a Swedish actress.[1][2][3] She began her acting career with the Swedish soap opera Nya tider (1999–2000) and went on to star in the slasher film Drowning Ghost (2004). She came to international prominence with her portrayal of Elizabeth Woodville in the British television miniseries The White Queen (2013), for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film.

Rebecca Ferguson
Rebecca Ferguson in 2018.jpg
Ferguson in 2018
Rebecca Louisa Ferguson Sundström

(1983-10-19) 19 October 1983 (age 38)[1]
Stockholm, Sweden
Alma materAdolf Fredrik's Music School
Years active1999–present
(m. 2018)
Partner(s)Ludwig Hallberg (2005–2015)

Ferguson starred as MI6 agent Ilsa Faust in the action spy film Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) and its sequel Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018), both with Tom Cruise. She also played Jenny Lind in the musical film The Greatest Showman (2017) and acted in science fiction horror film Life (2017), starred in the horror film Doctor Sleep (2019), and had supporting parts in the comedy-drama Florence Foster Jenkins (2016), the mystery thriller The Girl on the Train (2016), and the science fiction film Men in Black: International (2019). She portrayed Lady Jessica in the sci-fi epic Dune (2021).

Early lifeEdit

Ferguson was born in Stockholm and grew up in the Vasastan district in central Stockholm. Her mother, Rosemary Ferguson, is English,[4] and moved from Britain to Sweden at the age of 25.[4] Her father is Swedish.[5] Her maternal grandmother is Northern Irish, and her maternal grandfather is Scottish.[6] Ferguson took her mother's surname as her stage name.[7]

She attended an English-medium school in Sweden and was raised bilingual, speaking Swedish and English.[8] Ferguson attended the Adolf Fredrik's Music School in Stockholm and graduated in 1999.[9]

From the age of 13, she worked as a model and appeared in magazines and on television commercials for cosmetic, apparel, and jewellery advertisements.[10] Ferguson has danced from a very early age; she danced ballet, tap-dancing, jazz, street funk and tango. She taught Argentine tango at a dance company in Lund, Sweden for a few years,[11] while she continued her work on several short art film projects.[12] Unsure if she wanted to act, Ferguson had other jobs, such as working at a daycare centre, as a nanny, at a jewellery shop, at a shoe shop and at a Korean restaurant.[13]


Ferguson alongside Steven Gätjen at the world premiere of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation in Vienna in 2015

Ferguson came to prominence as upper-class girl Anna Gripenhielm in the Swedish soap opera Nya tider (1999–2000).[13] She went on to later play Chrissy Eriksson in the Swedish-American soap Ocean Ave. (2002). Swedish director Richard Hobert spotted her at the Simrishamn town market in 2011, which led to her starring in his film A One-way Trip to Antibes.[14] She has also appeared in the horror film Drowning Ghost (2004) and the 2013 film VI alongside Gustaf Skarsgård.[15][16]

In August 2012, it was announced Ferguson had been cast to play Elizabeth Woodville in the ten-part BBC historical television drama The White Queen (2013),[17] based on Philippa Gregory's The Cousins' War novels about the women of the Wars of the Roses.[18] Ferguson's performance in The White Queen was met with critical praise,[19] and earned her a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film.[20]

In 2015, Ferguson played Ilsa Faust, the female lead in the fifth Mission: Impossible film, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, for which she received critical acclaim.[21][22][23][24] Tom Cruise handpicked Ferguson to star opposite him in the film after watching her in The White Queen.[25][26] She reprised her role in the sixth Mission: Impossible film, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, in 2018. It is Ferguson's biggest commercial success to date.[27] She played the dual roles of Katya and Lauren in the Cold War espionage thriller directed by Shamim Sarif, Despite the Falling Snow (2016), opposite Sam Reid and Charles Dance.[28] For her performance in the film, she won the Best Actress award at the 2016 Prague Independent Film Festival.[29] Later that same year, Ferguson appeared in Stephen Frears's Florence Foster Jenkins alongside Meryl Streep,[30] and Tate Taylor's thriller book adaptation The Girl on the Train.[31]

In 2017, Ferguson played the female lead in Daniel Espinosa's sci-fi horror Life, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds,[32] co-starred in Tomas Alfredson's crime thriller The Snowman, alongside Michael Fassbender and Charlotte Gainsbourg,[33] and starred as Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind in the musical film The Greatest Showman, with Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams.[34] In 2018, during her appearance on The Graham Norton Show, Ferguson revealed that her mother had actually worked with ABBA.[35] In 2019, Ferguson had several major film roles, including co-starring in Doctor Sleep, the adaptation of Stephen King's novel of the same name.[36] She played Lady Jessica in Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of Dune, released in 2021.[37]

Personal lifeEdit

In 2007, Ferguson gave birth to a son with her boyfriend Ludwig Hallberg. After her soap opera success and the birth of her son, she moved with her boyfriend to Simrishamn, on the Swedish southeast coast. The couple separated in April 2015.[38]

Since 2016, she has been in a relationship with a man called Rory. In mid-2018, she gave birth to her daughter, Saga, fathered by Rory,[39][40] whom she married at the turn of the year.[39] They have a house in Richmond, southwest London, owing to its proximity to Pinewood and Shepperton studios.[41]


  Denotes works that have not yet been released
Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2004 Drowning Ghost Amanda [42]
2010 Lennart Home care personnel Short film [43]
Puls Linda Short film
2011 Irresistible Woman Short film
A One-Way Trip to Antibes Maria [44]
2013 VI Linda
2014 Hercules Ergenia [45]
2015 Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Ilsa Faust [24]
2016 Despite the Falling Snow Katya / Lauren [46]
Florence Foster Jenkins Kathleen Weatherley [47]
The Girl on the Train Anna Watson [48]
2017 The Greatest Showman Jenny Lind [49]
Life Miranda North [50]
The Snowman Katrine Bratt [51]
2018 Little Match Girl Mother Short film [52]
Mission: Impossible – Fallout Ilsa Faust [53]
2019 Doctor Sleep Rose the Hat [54]
The Kid Who Would Be King Morgana [55]
Men in Black: International Riza Stavros [56]
2020 Cold Night Jenny Sorensen 2008 film released in 2020
2021 Reminiscence Mae [57]
Dune Lady Jessica [58]
2023 Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One   Ilsa Faust Completed [59]
Dune: Part Two   Lady Jessica Pre-production [60]
2024 Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two   Ilsa Faust Filming [61]
Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1999–2000 Nya tider Anna Gripenhielm 54 episodes
2002 Ocean Ave. Chrissy Eriksson Episode: "#1.5"
2008 Wallander Louise Fredman Episode: "Sidetracked" [62]
2013 The Inspector and the Sea Jasmine Larsson Episode: "Der Wolf im Schafspelz"
The White Queen Elizabeth Woodville Main role (miniseries) [45]
The Vatican Olivia Borghese Television film [45]
2014 The Red Tent Dinah Main role (miniseries) [63]
TBA Wool   Juliette Main role [64]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2011 Stockholm International Film Festival Rising Star Award A One-way Trip to Antibes Nominated [65]
2013 Stockholm International Film Festival Rising Star Award VI Nominated [9]
2014 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film The White Queen Nominated [20]
2015 Hamptons International Film Festival Breakthrough Performer Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Won [66]
2016 Buffalo International Film Festival Best Actress in a Leading Role Despite the Falling Snow Won [67]
California Independent Film Festival Best Actress Despite the Falling Snow Won [68]
Critics' Choice Awards Best Actress in an Action Movie Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Nominated [69]
Empire Awards Best Female Newcomer Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Nominated [70]
Online Film & Television Association Best Breakthrough Performance: Female Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Nominated [71]
Prague Independent Film Festival Best Actress Despite the Falling Snow Won [72]
2019 Fright Meter Awards Best Supporting Actress Doctor Sleep Won [73]
Seattle Film Critics Society Villain of the Year Doctor Sleep Nominated [74]
Utah Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actress Doctor Sleep Runner-up [75]
Women Film Critics Circle Best Actress Doctor Sleep Nominated [76]
2020 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best Supporting Actress Doctor Sleep Won [77]
2021 Saturn Awards Best Actress Doctor Sleep Nominated [78]
Sunset Circle Awards Best Supporting Actress Dune Runner-up [79]
Indiana Film Journalists Association Awards Best Actress Dune Nominated [79]
2022 Göteborg Film Festival Nordic Honorary Dragon Award Won [80]
Critics' Choice Super Awards Best Actress in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Movie Dune Won [81]


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External linksEdit