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Rebecca Louisa Ferguson Sundström (born 19 October 1983) is a Swedish actress.[1][2] 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), which earned her a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film.

Rebecca Ferguson
Rebecca Ferguson in 2018.jpg
Ferguson promoting Mission: Impossible – Fallout in 2018
BornRebecca Louisa Ferguson Sundström
(1983-10-19) 19 October 1983 (age 35)
Stockholm, Sweden
Alma materAdolf Fredrik's Music School
Years active1999–present
Partner(s)Ludwig Hallberg (2005–2015)

Ferguson has since starred as MI6 agent Ilsa Faust in the action spy films Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) and its sequel Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018), and portrayed Jenny Lind in the musical The Greatest Showman (2017). She has also played supporting parts in the comedy-drama Florence Foster Jenkins and the thriller The Girl on the Train (both 2016).


Early lifeEdit

Ferguson was born in Stockholm and grew up in Vasastan district in central Stockholm. Her mother, Rosemary Ferguson, is English,[3] and moved from Britain to Sweden at the age of 25.[3] Rebecca's father is Swedish.[4] Her maternal grandmother is from Northern Ireland, and her maternal grandfather is Scottish.[5] Rebecca took her mother's surname as her stage name.[6]

She attended an English-speaking school in Sweden and was raised bilingual, speaking Swedish and English.[7]

From the age of 13, she worked as a model and appeared in magazines and on television commercials for cosmetic, apparel, and jewelry advertisements.[8]

Ferguson has danced from a very early age; she did ballet, tap-dancing, jazz, street funk and tango. She taught Argentine tango at a dance company in Lund, Sweden for a few years,[9] while she continued her work on several short art film projects.[10]

Ferguson attended the Adolf Fredrik's Music School in Stockholm and graduated in 1999.[11]


Rebecca Ferguson alongside Steven Gätjen at the Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation global premiere in Vienna, Austria.

Ferguson came to prominence as upper-class girl Anna Gripenhielm in the soap opera Nya tider. She went on to later play Chrissy in the Swedish-American soap Ocean Ave.

Swedish director Richard Hobert spotted her at the Simrishamn town market in 2011, which led to her starring in his film A One–Way to Antibes.[12] She has also appeared in the horror film Strandvaskaren and the 2012 film Vi alongside Gustaf Skarsgård.[13][14]

In August 2012, it was announced Ferguson had been cast to play Elizabeth Woodville in the ten-part BBC historical drama The White Queen,[15] based on Philippa Gregory's The Cousins' War novels about the women of the Wars of the Roses.[16] Ferguson's work in The White Queen has been met with praise,[17] earning her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film.[18]

In 2015, Ferguson played Ilsa Faust, the female lead in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, for which she was highly praised.[19][20][21][22] Tom Cruise hand-picked Ferguson to star opposite him in the movie after seeing her performance in The White Queen.[23][24] She reprised her role in the sixth Mission: Impossible film, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, in 2018.[25]

In 2016, she played the dual roles of Katya and Lauren in the cold war espionage thriller by Shamim Sarif, Despite the Falling Snow, opposite Sam Reid and Charles Dance.[26] For her performance in the film, she won the Best Actress award at the 2016 Prague Independent Film Festival.[27] Also in 2016, she appeared in Stephen Frears' Florence Foster Jenkins, opposite Meryl Streep,[28] and Tate Taylor's thriller book adaptation The Girl on the Train.[29]

In 2017, Ferguson played the female lead in Daniel Espinosa's sci-fi thriller Life, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds,[30] co-starred in Tomas Alfredson's crime thriller The Snowman, opposite Michael Fassbender and Charlotte Gainsbourg,[31] and starred as Swedish soprano Jenny Lind in the musical film The Greatest Showman, alongside Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams.

Personal lifeEdit

In 2007, Ferguson gave birth to a son with then-boyfriend Ludwig Hallberg. After her soap opera success and the birth of her son, she moved with her boyfriend to Simrishamn, on the Swedish south-east coast. The couple separated in April 2015.[32] On 22 May 2018, she gave birth to a daughter.[33]


Feature filmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2004 Drowning Ghost Amanda
2011 A One-way Trip to Antibes (sv) Maria
2013 Vi (sv) Linda
2014 Hercules Ergenia
2015 Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Ilsa Faust
2016 Despite the Falling Snow Katya / Lauren
Florence Foster Jenkins Kathleen Weatherley
The Girl on the Train Anna Watson
2017 The Greatest Showman Jenny Lind
Life Miranda North
The Snowman Katrine Bratt
2018 Mission: Impossible – Fallout Ilsa Faust
2019 The Kid Who Would Be King Morgana Post-production
MIB Post-production[34]
2020 Doctor Sleep Rose the Hat Filming

Short filmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Lennart Home care personnel
2010 Puls Linda
2011 Irresistible Woman
2018 Little Match Girl Mother


Year Title Role Notes
1999–2000 Nya tider Anna Gripenhielm 54 episodes
2002 Ocean Ave. Chrissy Eriksson Episode: "#1.5"
2008 Wallander Louise Fredman Episode: "Sidetracked"
2013 The Inspector and the Sea Jasmine Larsson Episode: "Der Wolf im Schafspelz"
The Vatican Olivia Borghese Television film
The White Queen Elizabeth Woodville Main role
2014 The Red Tent Dinah Main role; miniseries

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award/Festival Category Nominated work Result
2011 Stockholm International Film Festival Rising Star Award A One-way Trip to Antibes Nominated
2014 Golden Globe Awards[18] Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television The White Queen Nominated
2015 Hamptons International Film Festival[35] Breakthrough Performer Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Won
2016 Buffalo International Film Festival Best Actress in a Leading Role Despite the Falling Snow Won
California Independent Film Festival Best Actress Despite the Falling Snow Won
Critics' Choice Awards[36] Best Actress in an Action Movie Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Nominated
Empire Awards[37] Best Female Newcomer Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Best Breakthrough Performance: Female Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Nominated
Prague Independent Film Festival Best Actress Despite the Falling Snow Won


  1. ^ Sigander, Miranda (13 December 2013). "Rebecca Ferguson laddar för gala". Göteborgs-Posten (in Swedish). Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  2. ^ "En tv–donna att dö för!" (in Swedish). Slitz. Archived from the original on 26 August 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Rebecca: 'I'm a commoner who becomes the White Queen'". What’s on TV.
  4. ^ Farley, Christopher John. "'The White Queen' Finale Is Just the Start for Star Rebecca Ferguson".
  5. ^ Scanlon, Anne Marie (9 October 2017). "Snowman star melts our hearts". Archived from the original on 28 January 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  6. ^ Clarke, Donald (14 October 2017). "Rebecca Ferguson: 'Here I was, legs wrapped around Tom Cruise'". Irish Times. Archived from the original on 28 January 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Interview Extra – Rebecca Ferguson, The White Queen". TV Choice Magazine. 11 June 2013. Archived from the original on 11 July 2016. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Meet Mission Impossible's Rebecca Ferguson". Look. 28 July 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Interview – Rebecca Ferguson for Mission Impossible Rogue Nation". Irish Examiner. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Det är kul att spela någon som är elak hela filmen igenom". DN.SE. 30 September 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  11. ^ "Citroën DS Rising Star nominerade 2013". Stockholm Film Festival. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  12. ^ Rebecca Ferguson och Tara fixar hårsvallen! (27 September 2011). "Rebecca Ferguson hälsade på! – P3 Populär". Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Rebecca Ferguson". Actors in Scandinavia. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  14. ^ "Skarsgård jobbar helt naken – gratis | Nöjesbladet | Aftonbladet". 9 June 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  15. ^ "Starz Orders Historical Drama Based on Philippa Gregory's 'Cousins of War' Book Trilogy". Hollywood Reporter. 9 April 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  16. ^ "Media Centre – The White Queen, a new ten-part drama for BBC One". BBC. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  17. ^ "5 reasons to watch The White Queen". Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  18. ^ a b "Golden Globes 2014: The complete list of nominees and winners". Los Angeles Times. 12 January 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  19. ^ "Meet Rebecca Ferguson, the Scene-Stealing Star of Mission Impossible". TIME. 30 July 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  20. ^ "After Mission: Impossible, Rebecca Ferguson's Impossible Calm Amid a Whirlwind Mission". The New York Times. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  21. ^ Fleming, Mike. "Mission: Impossible 5 Female Lead Goes To Rebecca Ferguson". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  22. ^ "Meet Rebecca Ferguson, the beautiful scene-stealer in Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation". Entertainment Weekly. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  23. ^ Jefferies, Mark (10 July 2014). "Tom Cruise picks BBC's White Queen star Rebecca Ferguson to star in Mission Impossible 5". Daily Mirror. Archived from the original on 11 July 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  24. ^ Longsdorf, Amy (30 July 2015). "Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation brings Rebecca Ferguson to new heights". The Delaware County Daily Times. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  25. ^ Friedman, Roger (8 December 2015). "Mission Accomplished: Rebecca Ferguson First Tom Cruise Leading Lady Doing a Second M:I". Showbiz 411.
  26. ^ "Rebecca Ferguson spies hard in the Despite The Falling Snow trailer". Empire. 22 February 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  27. ^ "A trio of awards for Despite The Falling Snow". Enlightenment Productions. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  28. ^ "Rebecca Ferguson Cast In 'Florence Foster Jenkins' Opposite Meryl Streep". Deadline Hollywood. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  29. ^ "Rebecca Ferguson To Star In 'The Girl On The Train'". Deadline Hollywood. 18 August 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  30. ^ "Rebecca Ferguson to Star in Skydance's Sci-fi Pic 'Life'". Variety. 28 January 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  31. ^ "Michael Fassbender's 'The Snowman' Circles Rebecca Ferguson". Variety. 14 October 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  32. ^ "Rebecca Ferguson om separationsryktet: "Den frågan skippar vi"". (in Swedish). 4 September 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  33. ^ "Svenska Hollywoodstjärnan Rebecca Ferguson har fött en dotter i hemlighet". 28 May 2018. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  34. ^ Megan Peters (October 17, 2018). "Chris Hemsworth Confirms 'Men in Black' Wraps Filming". Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  35. ^ "Variety and Hamptons International Film Festival Host 10 Actors to Watch Brunch". Variety. 10 October 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  36. ^ Hipes, Patrick (14 December 2015). "Critics' Choice Awards Nominations: 'Mad Max' Leads Film; ABC, HBO, FX Networks & 'Fargo' Top TV". Deadline. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  37. ^ Nugent, John. "Jameson Empire Awards 2016: Star Wars and Mad Max lead the nominations". Empire.

External linksEdit