Rebecca Ferguson Is the Real Star of Dune

She plays the intimidating Lady Jessica in the sci-fi epic. She’s much friendlier in person.

10/22/2021 3:40:00 PM

Rebecca Ferguson, who stars as the intimidating Lady Jessica in Dune, has a knack for playing steely, stoic women. She’s much friendlier in person. HannaHanra reports

She plays the intimidating Lady Jessica in the sci-fi epic. She’s much friendlier in person.

In Dune, Ferguson, 38, plays Lady Jessica, a concubine and member of the Bene Gesserit, a sect of women who, through mental conditioning, have the super-human ability to manipulate others and influence humanity for their own benefit. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, the film has an all-star cast, with Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, and Stellan Skarsgård, but in many ways, it is Ferguson’s movie. As part of the Bene Gesserit, Jessica was supposed to birth a daughter who will become a super-being (she is an integral part of the sect’s breeding program). Instead, she disobeyed them and became mother to the gentle and heroic Paul Atreides (Chalamet), whom she pushes to emotional and physical extremes, subjecting him to a test that causes blinding pain and training him to use “the Voice,” a type of mind control he resists learning at first. The film hinges on their mother-son relationship, and Ferguson balances her character’s maternal anxieties and soldierlike toughness with ease.

Ferguson, dry-humored and confident, with a mirthful way of finishing sentences, her hair pulled tightly back and wearing minimal make-up, enacts this dance-walk in the form of deeply sharp conversation that moves at lightning speed. Over monkfish curry, we zinged among topics that included the parenting techniques of meerkats (dark), the celebrity acknowledgment nod (potentially awkward), competitive pole dancing (it’s a thing!), how to get into stunt work (through competitive pole dancing, of course), and the art of being unhindered in life. “There is no reason not to be able to do anything,” she says neatly. “And apropros of that, I never thought I’d be able to do the things I did in Mission: Impossible. I’m terrified of heights, and there’s a scene where I did a 130-foot free-fall drop. I had to do it ten times — I trained so much to get to the point where I could step off a metal bridge over a drop. They cut it from the film. I think they liked my character just arriving into the frame.”

Photo: Nadav Kander Born in Sweden to an expat English mother and a Swedish father, she got her first acting role at the age of 16, when she joined the cast of Nya Tider, a Swedish soap opera. Regular-enough work followed: another soap and a few films, interspersed with other jobs like nannying and a position in a day-care center. It wasn’t until 2013’s The White Queen, a BBC dramatization of Philippa Gregory’s historical-novel series based on the Wars of the Roses, that she started to flourish. Ferguson played Elizabeth Woodville, a widow who became Queen Consort Elizabeth of England — the titular White Queen. Met with critical acclaim, Ferguson was nominated for a Golden Globe and caught the eye of Tom Cruise. She received a call from the actor while she was on location in Morocco riding a camel named Barbie for the miniseries The Red Tent. (Barbie is the same camel Nicole Kidman rides in the 2015 film Queen of the Desert.) Cruise offered her a role in 2015’s Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation as Ilsa Faust, an MI6 agent working undercover in “the Syndicate,” an international group of ex–intelligence officers who have formed their own anti-IMF (Impossible Missions Force). They are, naturally, out to wreak havoc but are held at bay by Cruise’s never-inert Ethan Hunt, with whom Faust, acting as a double agent of sorts, has joined forces. Hunt and Faust met again in 2018 for an equally stunt-heavy sequel, Mission: Impossible — Fallout. “I never thought I’d be able to do the things I did on Mission: Impossible,” Ferguson says. “I’m terrified of heights, and there’s a scene where I did a 130-foot free-fall drop. I had to do it ten times. I trained so much to get to the point where I could step off a metal bridge over a drop. They cut it from the film. I think they liked my character just arriving into frame.” headtopics.com

To prepare for Dune, she visited the studio to understand the environment her character would occupy. “If I’m shooting in a room, I need to know it. I don’t want to rock up and be, Okay, this was my bedroom for the past 20 years,” she explains. Villeneuve and his partner, Tanya Lapointe, became close friends with Ferguson. “I speak to him once a week,” she says before adding, with a hint of mock seriousness, “I am trying to manipulate him into giving me some fucking cool scenes for the next one, if it happens.”

The first scene she shot on set was with Charlotte Rampling, the Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam of the Bene Gesserit. A powerful truthsayer in a mesh veil, Rampling tests Paul for his powers by subjecting him to tortuous amounts of pain through mental stimulation. “I was very nervous. I was having heart palpitations knowing she was going to walk in,” Ferguson says, her face lighting up at the memory. “I am drawn to French fucked-off-ness. In my head, she was going to be difficult to talk to, and my plan was to break through that. And then in walks this … cool kitten. There was no ego and no meanness. There was just respect.” Working with Rampling set the bar for the film. “It’s a very cool thing for an actor to do, to be so comfortable in their own presence.” She pauses for a beat. “I’ve got her phone number, by the way.”

Ferguson lives with her husband, Rory, their young daughter, and her teenage son from a previous relationship in an ancient house they are currently doing up. They live fairly privately behind a wall — you can’t see the house or their garden from the street. “I love it because I’m a one-minute walk from the Thames,” she says. “I love rowing and paddleboarding.” She pours a cup of mint tea and leans back into her seat. Currently, she is working on Wool, an adaptation of Hugh Howey’s series of books set in a world where society lives underground. The books explore two mind-sets: that we are born kind and society fucks us over and that we are born greedy and society structures us with laws and frameworks. Ferguson plays Juliette, an engineer, and is also an executive producer of the show, “learning a new side of being in with the big boys and girls,” she says.

Recently, she has been reading Joan Didion; her writing has seeped into how Ferguson is thinking about this latest role. “Didion is a juxtaposition of living in a world that is so eccentric with drugs and drinks, yet she’s so quiet and locked in you can’t break through,” she says. “I’m a little bit in love with her.” Ferguson is drawn to introverts, but it’s a way of being that feels foreign to her. “I am always the person on my toes. I’m blunt, I speak fast, and people love it because it makes them at ease, but sometimes I think I have been handed that personality,” she says. “How can you walk around in a world where there’s an expectancy of you to be something?” headtopics.com

Read more: New York Magazine »

Jury finds Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts

A Wisconsin jury found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts after the Illinois teenager shot and killed two men and wounded a third at a protest last year.

HannaHanra WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND?... Just dropped a NEW FASHION VIDEO pon de Tube, please check it out. LINK👇 Please subscribe and turn on Post Notifications, Thanks. weekend contentcreators ad follow youtuber smallyoutuber Video viral Trending HannaHanra I appreciate this man I share the good news to the world I made it out for the very first time. Trading Bitcoin with him was a good process with a good profit earning Contact chris_diazzin and start trading.

Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker Share Intimate Engagement Pics.kourtneykardash has blessed us with more engagement pics! 🙏 (📸: kourtneykardash) kourtneykardash White love 🤍

Lisa Rinna shares her thoughts on daughter Amelia and Scott Disick's splitThe “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star revealed who made the decision and hinted at why. I was referred to this platform by a friend online and I thought it was a scam...but I was moved to try and yes I did earned....I just want to use the opportunity to share this to people to know how Miss Akins davis platform works...her good deed need a recommendation Who, who, and who?

What Do You Need to Know About Dune Before You Watch Dune?It’s about dunes. Unbelievable that the second half of the film hasn’t been green-lighted yet. So at best we will wait 3-5 years for the rest of the tale. Joy.

I Am Very Charmed By Cardi B and Penn Badgley Being Star-Struck By One Another'I'm famous famous,' tweeted the already very famous Cardi B after watching an old clip of Badgley referencing her. Both love to drg ppl Cardiisshook Right...We just loving their interactions

How ‘Dune’ (Sort of) Explains Today’s EconomyIn the galaxy-spanning civilization of “Dune,” the new movie starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, the basic laws of economics still apply Greed has been around as long as we have. 5 Effective supplements to take in winter to avoid any complications according to Dr Anthony Fauci recommendation buy $XRP

‘Dune’ Movie Review: From Grand Vision to Sand TrapReview: The space epic 'Dune,' in theaters and on HBO Max, features a star-studded cast including Zendaya, Timothée Chalamet and Oscar Isaac thanks Time to do good water aid zoos trees flowers clean up crap world playing like kids so backward Billions pounds wasted on space got nothing but n bombs up there soon thickoo