How Dare Anyone Speak to Rebecca Ferguson That Way

The Big Picture

  • Ferguson’s portrayal of Lady Jessica in Dune highlights her acting versatility and commitment to complex roles.
  • Despite challenges, Ferguson consistently elevates her projects with powerful performances, even in lesser-quality films.
  • Ferguson’s impressive resume showcases her talent, making her undeserving of any cruel treatment on set.



While an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction novel Dune was once considered to be a “cursed” project, Denis Villeneuve’s highly acclaimed 2021 film brought the epic scope of the source material to life. Dune is certainly a story that requires an extensive amount of world building, but Villeneuve’s version succeeded by fleshing out the rich cast of characters. Rebecca Ferguson’s performance as Lady Jessica is particularly powerful, as she underscores the difficulty of bearing a child destined to be a messianic figure. Unfortunately, Ferguson’s experiences in the industry have not always been pleasant, as she admitted to being harassed by a co-star who brought her to tears with comments on her acting ability. This level of cruelty is never acceptable, but Ferguson’s impressive resume makes her especially undeserving of vile treatment.


Dune Part Two Poster

Dune: Part Two

Paul Atreides unites with Chani and the Fremen while seeking revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family.

Release Date
March 1, 2024

Director
Denis Villeneuve

Runtime
166 minutes

Writers
Frank Herbert , Jon Spaihts , Denis Villeneuve


Rebecca Ferguson Worked Hard to Distinguish Herself Throughout Her Career

While she has starred in some of the most critically acclaimed commercial blockbusters of the past decade, Ferguson’s trajectory within the industry was by no means guaranteed. Prior to appearing in American films, Ferguson received her breakout roles in the soap opera Ocean Ave. and the horror film Drowning Ghost in her home country of Sweden. While neither role gave her much exposure beyond a niche audience, both projects served as a compelling showcase for the versatility of Ferguson’s acting abilities. These smaller projects were essential in earning her the role of Elizabeth Woodville in the adaptation of the Phillipa Gregory novelThe White Queen, for which she received a Golden Globe Award.


Playing an iconic character within romantic fiction was certainly not an easy task, but Ferguson’s next challenge came when she was cast as Ilsa Faust in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. The series had always succeeded thanks to the overwhelming star power of Tom Cruise, and Ferguson had to debut a character who was worthy of being his equal. Impressively, she managed to match Cruise’s work with a performance that was just as enigmatic and physically laborious. Ilsa became an instant fan favorite, subsequently appearing in both Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, and the backlash to the character’s death indicates how popular Ferguson’s performance has become.

Ferguson often takes on roles that many would find difficult, and rarely fails to join projects that are lacking in ambition. While any new project set in the universe of The Shining was bound to attract comparisons to Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 masterpiece, Ferguson’s role as the malevolent Rose the Hat in Doctor Sleep became one of the best King villains ever. She also delivered a dynamic comic performance in the Academy Award-nominated biopic Florence Foster Jenkins, fiercely standing out in a cast that also included Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant.


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Rebecca Ferguson Tried and Failed to Get This Bene Gesserit Detail Into ‘Dune: Part Two’

She also compares Lady Jessica’s transformation to an exorcist movie and drops some clues on ‘Silo’ Season 2.

Rebecca Ferguson Elevates Every Project She’s In

It’s often a sign of a great performer when they can elevate weak material, and Ferguson has managed to give excellent performances in films that are lacking in quality. While the 2014 adaptation of the Hercules comic was a genuinely disastrous attempt at a sword-and-sandals epic, Ferguson’s role as the Princess Ergenia was perhaps the only moment in which the film seemed to feel epic. Similarly, her standout work as Anna Watson in the 2016 adaptation of the bestselling novel The Girl on the Train was the film’s only performance that seemed worthy of the acclaimed source material.


While the strong praise for Dune: Part Two indicates that her performance will get fairly widespread attention, some of Ferguson’s best work has slipped under the radar. The science fiction romantic thriller Reminiscence was a box office dud (in part due to its day-and-date release on HBO Max), but featured compelling chemistry between Ferguson and Hugh Jackman. She also had a strong role in the sci-fi thriller Life, an Alien ripoff that was more entertaining than some actual installments in the series. While Hollywood sets should always be a place where actors can feel secure, Ferguson’s acting abilities alone make her wholly undeserving of any nasty behavior on the part of her co-stars.

Dune: Part Two is in theaters now.

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