Rebecca Ferguson

Rebecca Louisa Ferguson Sundström (born 19 October 1983) is a Swedish actress.

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 drama 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
Ferguson in 2018
Rebecca Louisa Ferguson Sundström

(1983-10-19) 19 October 1983 (age 40)
Stockholm, Sweden
Alma materAdolf Fredrik's Music School
Years active1999–present
Rory St. Clair Gainer
(m. 2018)
PartnerLudwig Hallberg (2005–2015)

Ferguson starred as MI6 agent Ilsa Faust, opposite Tom Cruise, in three of the Mission: Impossible films: Rogue Nation (2015), Fallout (2018), and Dead Reckoning Part One (2023). She played Jenny Lind in the musical film The Greatest Showman (2017), starred in the horror films Life (2017) and Doctor Sleep (2019), and had supporting parts in the comedy-drama Florence Foster Jenkins (2016), the thriller The Girl on the Train (2016), and the science fiction films Dune (2021) and Dune: Part Two (2024). In 2023, she began starring in the Apple TV+ science fiction series Silo.

Early life and education

Ferguson was born in Stockholm and grew up in the Vasastan district in central Stockholm. Her mother, Rosemary Ferguson, is English, and moved from Britain to Sweden at the age of 25. Her mother helped ABBA translate the lyrics from their 1974 album Waterloo into English and also appeared on the sleeve of the band's 1975 self-titled album. Her father, Olov Sundström, is a Swedish businessman. Ferguson took her mother's surname as her stage name. Her maternal grandmother is Northern Irish, and her maternal grandfather is Scottish.

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

From the age of 13, she worked as a model and appeared in magazines and on television commercials for cosmetic, apparel, and jewellery advertisements. 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 while she continued her work on several short art film projects. 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.


Rebecca Ferguson 
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). She went on to later play Chrissy Eriksson in the Swedish-American soap Ocean Ave. (2002). In 2004, she made her feature film debut in Mikael Håfström's horror film Drowning Ghost and later had a guest role in Wallander (2008). 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, which earned her a nomination for the Rising Star award at the Stockholm International Film Festival. In 2013, she co-starred in the film VI alongside Gustaf Skarsgård.

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), based on Philippa Gregory's The Cousins' War novels about the women of the Wars of the Roses. Ferguson's performance in The White Queen was met with critical praise, and earned her a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film.

In 2015, Ferguson gained wider recognition for her portrayal of MI6 agent Ilsa Faust, the female lead in the fifth Mission: Impossible film, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, for which she received critical acclaim. Tom Cruise handpicked Ferguson to star opposite him in the film after watching her in The White Queen and noticing a resemblance between Ferguson and Ingrid Bergman. She reprised her role in the sixth Mission: Impossible film, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, released in 2018–her biggest commercial success, grossing over $790 million worldwide–and reprised it again in the seventh film, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, in 2023.

Rebecca Ferguson 
Rebecca Ferguson at Mission: Impossible – Fallout Red carpet Paris, 2018

In 2016, she played the dual roles of Katya and Lauren in the Cold War espionage thriller directed by Shamim Sarif, Despite the Falling Snow, opposite Sam Reid and Charles Dance. For her performance in the film, she won the Best Actress award at the 2016 Prague Independent Film Festival. Later that same year, Ferguson appeared in Stephen Frears's Florence Foster Jenkins opposite Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, and Tate Taylor's thriller book adaptation The Girl on the Train starring Emily Blunt. In 2017, Ferguson played the female lead in Daniel Espinosa's sci-fi horror Life, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds, co-starred in Tomas Alfredson's crime thriller The Snowman, alongside Michael Fassbender and Charlotte Gainsbourg, and starred as Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind in the musical film The Greatest Showman, with Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams.

In 2019, Ferguson had several major film roles. She co-starred in Doctor Sleep, the adaptation of Stephen King's novel of the same name; played the villain Morgana in Joe Cornish's adventure film The Kid Who Would Be King; and co-starred as Riza Stavros in F. Gary Gray's science fiction comedy film Men in Black: International. In 2021, she co-starred in Lisa Joy's science fiction thriller Reminiscence. She also played Lady Jessica in Denis Villeneuve's film adaptation of Frank Herbert's science fiction novel Dune. She reprised the role in the sequel, Dune: Part Two (2024). In 2023, Ferguson starred in and was also an executive producer in the Apple TV+ science fiction series Silo.

Personal life

In 2007, Ferguson gave birth to her first child, a son, with her then-boyfriend Ludwig Hallberg, a psychosynthesis therapist. After her soap opera success and the birth of her son, she moved with Hallberg to Simrishamn, on the Swedish southeast coast. In 2012, Ferguson and Hallberg taught tango together in Österlen. The couple separated in April 2015.

Since 2016, Ferguson has been in a relationship with businessman Rory St. Clair Gainer, with whom she has a daughter who was born in May 2018. Ferguson and Gainer were married at the end of the same year. They have a house in Richmond, southwest London, owing to its proximity to Pinewood and Shepperton studios.


Denotes works that have not yet been released


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2004 Drowning Ghost Amanda
2010 Lennart Home care personnel Short film
Puls Linda Short film
2011 Irresistible Woman Short film
A One-Way Trip to Antibes Maria
2013 Us 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 Life Miranda North
The Snowman Katrine Bratt
The Greatest Showman Jenny Lind
2018 Little Match Girl Mother Short film
Mission: Impossible – Fallout Ilsa Faust
2019 Doctor Sleep Rose the Hat
The Kid Who Would Be King Morgana
Men in Black: International Riza Stavros
2020 Cold Night Jenny Sorensen Filmed in 2008
2021 Reminiscence Mae
Dune Lady Jessica
2023 Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One Ilsa Faust
2024 Dune: Part Two Lady Jessica
2025 Mercy TBA Filming


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"
2013 The Inspector and the Sea Jasmine Larsson Episode: "Der Wolf im Schafspelz"
The White Queen Elizabeth Woodville Main role (miniseries)
The Vatican Olivia Borghese Television film
2014 The Red Tent Dinah Main role (miniseries)
2023–present Silo Juliette Nichols Main role; also executive producer
2023 Wild Scandinavia Narrator Three-part wildlife series


Year Title Role Ref
2022 Spark Hunter Her' (voice)

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2011 Stockholm International Film Festival Rising Star Award A One-way Trip to Antibes Nominated
2013 VI Nominated
2014 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film The White Queen Nominated
2015 Hamptons International Film Festival 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 Won
Critics' Choice Awards Best Actress in an Action Movie Mission: Impossible –
Rogue Nation
Empire Awards Best Female Newcomer Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Best Breakthrough Performance: Female Nominated
Prague Independent Film Festival Best Actress Despite the Falling Snow Won
2019 Fright Meter Awards Best Supporting Actress Doctor Sleep Won
Seattle Film Critics Society Villain of the Year Nominated
Utah Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actress Runner-up
Women Film Critics Circle Best Actress Nominated
2020 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best Supporting Actress Won
2021 Saturn Awards Best Actress Nominated
2022 Göteborg Film Festival Nordic Honorary Dragon Award Won
Critics' Choice Super Awards Best Actress in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Movie Dune Won
2024 Saturn Awards Best Actress in a Television Series Silo Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress in a Series Silo Nominated



Rebecca Ferguson Early life and educationRebecca Ferguson CareerRebecca Ferguson Personal lifeRebecca Ferguson FilmographyRebecca Ferguson Awards and nominationsRebecca Ferguson

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