- Rebecca Louisa Ferguson Sundström
October 19, 1983 (age 38)
- Actor, Model
- Rosemary Ferguson
Rebecca Louisa Ferguson Sundström (born 19 October 1983), known professionally as Rebecca Ferguson, 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 television miniseries The White Queen (2013), which earned her a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film.
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).
Ferguson was born in Stockholm and grew up in Vasastan district in central Stockholm. Her mother, Rosemary Ferguson, is English, and moved from Britain to Sweden at the age of 25. Rebecca's father is Swedish. Her maternal grandmother is from Northern Ireland, and her maternal grandfather is Scottish. Rebecca took her mother's surname as her stage name.
She attended an English-speaking school in Sweden and was raised bilingual, speaking Swedish and English.
From the age of 13, she worked as a model and appeared in magazines and on television commercials for cosmetic, apparel, and jewelry advertisements.
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, while she continued her work on several short art film projects.
Ferguson attended the Adolf Fredrik's Music School in Stockholm and graduated in 1999.
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. She has also appeared in the horror film Strandvaskaren and the 2012 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 drama The White Queen, based on Philippa Gregory's The Cousins' War novels about the women of the Wars of the Roses. Ferguson's work in The White Queen has been met with praise, earning her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film.
In 2015, Ferguson played Ilsa Faust, the female lead in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, for which she was highly praised. Tom Cruise hand-picked Ferguson to star opposite him in the movie after seeing her performance in The White Queen. She reprised her role in the sixth Mission: Impossible film, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, in 2018.
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. For her performance in the film, she won the Best Actress award at the 2016 Prague Independent Film Festival. Also in 2016, she appeared in Stephen Frears' Florence Foster Jenkins, opposite Meryl Streep, and Tate Taylor's thriller book adaptation The Girl on the Train.
In 2017, Ferguson played the female lead in Daniel Espinosa's sci-fi thriller Life, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds, co-starred in Tomas Alfredson's crime thriller The Snowman, opposite Michael Fassbender and Charlotte Gainsbourg, and starred as Swedish soprano Jenny Lind in the musical film The Greatest Showman, alongside Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams.
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. On 22 May 2018, she gave birth to a daughter.