International star Rebecca Ferguson has made quite the splash in Hollywood. The stunning Swedish actress is noted for her versatility, having starred in films and shows across a number of genres. With major roles in hit titles like The White Queen, the Mission: Impossible films, The Girl on the Train, The Greatest Showman, The Kid Who Would Be King, Men in Black: International, and Doctor Sleep, Ferguson’s resume is quite impressive.
While Ferguson is an internationally acclaimed actress, her name isn’t one that regularly makes headlines. This is not a reflection of her star power, though — Ferguson is a very private person, preferring to keep her work and home lives separate. Outside of her career, Ferguson is also a doting wife and mother who’s focused on raising her family out of the limelight.
Because of her reticence to put her private life on display, there’s probably a lot that you don’t know about this celebrity. To that end, here’s a closer look at Rebecca Ferguson.
Rebecca Ferguson had a crush on Tom Cruise growing up
Landing the role of Ilsa Faust in the Mission: Impossible franchise, starting with 2015’s Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, was a turning point in Rebecca Ferguson’s career, as it brought her to the attention of a massive international audience. It also gave her the chance to work next to her childhood crush, Tom Cruise, who also stars in the films.
Ferguson confessed to Elle that she’d had a bit of a thing for Cruise as a little girl after seeing him in Interview with the Vampire. “I was in love with him,” she confessed. Meeting her childhood idol on set was a bit nerve-wracking at first, but the two quickly became friends, and Ferguson even told Cruise about the crush she’d once had on him.
Cruise wasn’t Ferguson’s only celebrity crush, though. In an interview with Unreserved, Ferguson revealed that she’d also had a crush on Leonardo DiCaprio as a young girl.
Rebecca Ferguson's parents got her into acting
Rebecca Ferguson credits her successful career to her parents, who were very supportive of her talents when she was growing up. “They were just very loving and have never told me that things aren’t possible,” she told Contributor, adding that they let her “develop at my own pace.”
Ferguson further elaborated on how her parents guided her in an interview with The Guardian, telling the outlet that her mother urged her to try different hobbies including gymnastics, salsa, and even the card game bridge. She also tried the modeling world — and hated it — before trying her hand at acting when her mother encouraged her to attend a TV casting. Ferguson wasn’t on board with acting at first, convinced that it wouldn’t be for her; when her mother first suggested the idea, Ferguson recalled thinking “that’s absolutely terrifying,” revealing that she was nervous even standing in front of her class.
To Ferguson’s surprise, though, things clicked and she fell in love with the art. Ferguson landed that first audition and her mother helped her continue to build up her acting resume, running lines with her to help her prepare for roles.
Rebecca Ferguson had to grow up fast
After landing her first acting job on the Swedish soap opera Nya Tider at the age of 15, Rebecca Ferguson had to grow up in a hurry. Per The Guardian, the teenager spent most of her time on set, filming five episodes weekly for a year and a half.
Ferguson missed out on having a normal adolescence, telling Cinedelphia that she “never got into that sort of ‘adolescent’ party behavior,” as she went from being a kid to entering “a working environment.” By the time she was 16, Ferguson was living on her own and taking care of her own bills. While this might have been daunting for some teenagers, Ferguson said that she enjoyed the responsibility of being on her own.
Ferguson’s twenties were hardly carefree either, as she became a mother when she was 22. All in all, though, the actress is pleased with how her life has turned out. “When I look back, I don’t regret any choice I’ve made, or anything I’ve pursued or not pursued,” she told Flaunt.
Rebecca Ferguson likes not being recognized
Being an international star can be quite taxing, especially for someone as private as Rebecca Ferguson. Fortunately for her, she’s often able to blend into a crowd, and told The Guardian that she’s “never” recognized in public.
It’s surprising that someone who’s been in such successful shows and films isn’t swarmed with paparazzi whenever she’s in public, but Ferguson is happy not to garner too much attention. While Ferguson loves acting, she explained that she doesn’t enjoy being famous and would prefer to live her life more off the grid — to the point that she even avoids checking her phone throughout the day, much to the chagrin of her family who complains about not being able to reach her easily.
Ferguson does have an Instagram account, but she rarely posts and doesn’t offer up an intimate view of her life. She told Flaunt that, while she does “understand the importance of technology,” she prefers to keep things simpler. “I write letters,” she said. “And I don’t like people knowing what I’m doing all the time.”
Rebecca Ferguson has a background in dance
Fans who have seen Rebecca Ferguson in action are aware that she’s quick on her feet, and there’s a good reason for it. Ferguson has an extensive background in dance, having studied a variety of dance styles including ballet, tap, jazz, street funk, and even Argentine tango, which she also taught in Sweden. All of those years of training have made Ferguson graceful and coordinated.
Ferguson told Dance Magazine that she even considered a career as a ballerina at one point, but that it wasn’t long before she “got bored with all the tutus.” After that, she moved on to hip hop, but again found herself bored. By the time she discovered her passion for tango, her acting career was well underway and she quickly ran out of time to indulge her love for dance. “The only dancing I do now is with ladles in my hand while cooking in the kitchen,” she joked.
Rebecca Ferguson does a lot of her own stunts
Rebecca Ferguson’s dance skills have come in handy in her acting career, specifically when it comes to doing her own stunt work. While Ferguson doesn’t do all of her own stunts, she does quite a few of them, telling Dance Magazine that her knowledge of dance helped her with her own “personal fighting style” when filming the Mission: Impossible movies. She added that her training in the Argentine tango was particularly helpful as the dance style teaches you “to follow the line of your spine.”
As Ferguson explained, “the balance and strength” in her legs resulting from years of dance lessons have also been helpful in doing her own stunts. But while Ferguson might not need a stunt double very often, she’s careful not to take unnecessary risks. “I had a wonderful stunt girl who would always be on stand by and help out if necessary,” she told Untitled of filming Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation.
Rebecca Ferguson was raised on English period dramas
To fans unfamiliar with Rebecca Ferguson’s background, the fact that she’s Swedish and not born and raised in England might come as a surprise when you hear her flawless English accent. While Ferguson was raised in Sweden and has a Swedish father, her mother is English. Ferguson grew up exposed to both her parents’ cultures, and was raised bilingual, attending an English-language school. “It sounds like I was a spy or something,” she joked to The Irish Times.
One way Ferguson stayed in touch with her English roots as a child was by watching English period dramas, which her mother made a point of exposing her to. Ferguson explained to the BBC that she idolized British actresses like Downton Abby’s Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren, and that she’s “always wanted to do a period drama.”
Ferguson got her wish when she was cast in the 2013 miniseries The White Queen, in which she played Elizabeth Woodville, wife of King Edward IV. Ferguson threw herself into the role, researching the historical figure and the tumultuous period of history during which The White Queen takes place. “I loved all of it,” she said.
This is Rebecca Ferguson's favorite part of taking on a new role
When Rebecca Ferguson takes on an acting role, she’s all in. While some actors might limit themselves to simply learning their lines, Ferguson immerses herself in the character. In fact, she finds “the research and the prepping” for a new part to be “the most exciting aspect” of getting ready for a new project.
Ferguson taps into the character she’s playing, and her method of doing so is quite impressive. As she explained to Contributor, there’s a lot that goes into “creating a role” as it involves “script work and thinking about history, body, movement, reasons why and secrets.”
It’s an intense way to prepare for a part, too. “You can’t go too far with it,” said Ferguson, although she added that sometimes she feels like she’s “absolutely out in deep water” and “God knows where.” While she admitted that she ends up “f***** it all up a little bit,” it’s clear that her deep dives into her characters works for her.
Rebecca Ferguson isn't afraid to speak her mind
While she prefers to live her life out of the public eye, Rebecca Ferguson isn’t afraid to speak up about issues that matter to her. Ferguson has been outspoken on issues like the #MeToo movement, which she described to the Independent as “so bloody brilliant.” To that end, the actress has taken a major stance against sexism, telling The Tribune that, while she’s never personally experienced gender disparity in Hollywood, she’s well aware of just how sexist Hollywood can be. “Maybe I’m just lucky, but I think the cause is very important to battle,” she said, adding that she’s seen things improve over the course of her career, and is excited to see things continue to get better.
Ferguson has always been a very outspoken person, telling Glamour that she was raised “to be very verbal with my thoughts and ideas.” The actress continued, saying that if she sees “that something is unfair” she “will stand up and talk about it” and call someone out if necessary.
Rebecca Ferguson's views on horror films evolved after she starred in Doctor Sleep
While it may not be obvious to fans who were chilled by Rebecca Ferguson’s eerie portrayal of Rose the Hat in 2019’s Doctor Sleep, Ferguson hasn’t always been the biggest fan of horror films. The film is based on a Stephen King novel of the same name, and is a sequel to the terrifying classic The Shining, so it’s pretty scary fare — a big challenge for a woman who told The Guardian that she doesn’t typically watch horror films, admitting, “I have a bad startle reflex.”
Ferguson watched a number of horror flicks to prepare for the role, and came away from filming with a deeper appreciation for the genre. She told GQ that she’s now “excited to see new scary movies.” While she still gets spooked by spooky movies, she said that she appreciates horror films that “carry that element of suspense” like The Babadook and It.
Rebecca Ferguson has always followed a healthy diet
Rebecca Ferguson’s role in the Mission: Impossible films requires her to be in tip top shape. To that end, Ferguson told Elle that while filming Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, she would eat a “a lot of chia pudding, [and] a lot of coconut: coconut flakes, coconut butter, coconut oil,” and also cut out sugar and dairy.
Ferguson didn’t start eating healthy when she was cast in the franchise, though; she’s always maintained a pretty healthy lifestyle, something that’s helped by the fact that she lives by the seashore in Sweden. Ferguson revealed that a large part of her diet consists of fish caught by local fisherman. She also eats meat sourced from local farmers. “I eat very well,” said the star.
Ferguson also takes care of her body by always making sure to get seven hours of sleep each night and by drinking a lot of water. Staying organized also keeps her relaxed and healthy. “When everything is in balance, I feel good,” she told The New Potato. Ferguson also makes sure to get in plenty of exercise, saying that she enjoys pilates as it “suits my body very well.”
This is Rebecca Ferguson's biggest fear as a mom
Rebecca Ferguson is so secretive about her personal life that she hasn’t even revealed the last name of her husband, Rory, to the public. As noted by People, Ferguson shared in January 2019 that she and Rory had secretly tied the knot over the holiday season.
Ferguson has two children: a son named Isac from a previous relationship, and a daughter with Rory named Saga. Ferguson is doing her best to raise her children with strong feminist ideals, telling the Independent that she wants her daughter to be empowered. She’s also raising her son to be “a new man for a new society” who knows that it’s okay to cry.
Parenting isn’t easy and, like all moms, Ferguson has her fears about how she’s raising her family. In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Ferguson admitted that she’s afraid she’s “going to mess it up.” She added, “We always make mistakes.”
This is why Rebecca Ferguson will never do a comedy
Rebecca Ferguson has become well known for her roles in action flicks like the Mission: Impossible movies and period pieces like The White Queen and Florence Foster Jenkins. While Ferguson has proven her versatility as in actress in many different genres, there’s one type of role you’ll never see her take on: a comedic one. While this news will no doubt come as a disappointment to her fans, Ferguson swears it’s for the best. “I’m not funny,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
Strictly speaking, this isn’t true. Ferguson has a reputation for having a sense of humor in interviews, but she insists that there’s a difference between being funny in the heat of the moment and doing comedic acting as it requires so many takes. “The issue is then redoing it, and doing it over and over and over again in different scenes and still keeping the humor fresh,” she said.
Sweden has Rebecca Ferguson's heart
While Rebecca Ferguson’s acting career has taken her all over the world, she’s not interested in moving away from the country of her birth. As she explained to Contributor, her farm in the Swedish countryside is the ideal home for her and her family. “It’s the calm, it’s the trees, it’s the ocean, it’s the light, it’s everything,” she said of her peaceful abode. “This is my part of the world.”
That doesn’t mean she doesn’t enjoy traveling, though. As Ferguson told Nylon, she even lived in New York for a time and spends quite a bit of time in London. She admitted that she’d “have probably gone mental” without “the possibility to travel.”
Still, at the end of the day, Sweden is where Ferguson’s heart is, and she wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, as she appreciates the slower pace of life in her small town. “I feel normal, and I feel like me,” she revealed.
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