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Since her scene-stealing performance as the mysterious operative, Ilsa Faust, in 2015’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, costarring Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson has continued to display her range on the big screen. She has appeared in films such as The Girl on the Train, The Greatest Showman, Mission Impossible – Fallout, Men in Black: International and the Oscar-winning adaptation Dune.


Being cast as the leading lady next to one of Hollywood’s most fearless actors is daunting, especially one known for attempting dangerous feats, like hanging off the side of an airplane and holding his breath for six minutes. However, the Golden Globe-nominated actress has proven she’s up to the task. So much so, Ferguson will reprise her role, fighting alongside Cruise, in the next two installments of the movie franchise, though a release date has not been announced.


But just who is the actress who matches Cruise stunt for stunt and effortlessly portrays the disgraced member of the Bene Gesserit sect? Here are five things to know about Ferguson, both on- and off-screen.


1. She’s a Swedish-born actress.

Ferguson grew up in Stockholm, Sweden. “It’s very organized, clean and safe,” she told PEOPLE. “I love traveling and having it as the place I come back home to.”


She started her career filming in her native country but quickly turned international, making both English and American movies. “Usually, a film set looks the same — just the culture and people change,” she said. “It’s a luxury of the job.”


2. She “forgot to be nervous” when meeting Cruise for the first time.

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When Ferguson first got the call informing her that Cruise and the movie’s director Christopher McQuarrie wanted to meet with her to discuss the role, she was on the back of a camel in the Moroccan desert filming The Red Tent. The very next day, she was walking into a meeting with the two men. “I thought I was going to sit down and breathe into a paper bag or something, but bam! There [Cruise] was in front of me,” she told PEOPLE. The conversation with Cruise was so comfortable and casual that her nerves immediately went away. “He’s just a man who loves doing what he does.”


3. She did most of her own stunts in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.

After watching Cruise suit up for his own stunts and taking notes on how he prepared for each scene, Ferguson felt confident enough to forgo her stunt double and attempt her own daring moves. “I thought, I just want to try and see if I can push through this boundary of fear,” she told PEOPLE in July 2015.


Before filming, the actress underwent a month of intense training to prepare her body for the high-action fight sequences. But perhaps her greatest accomplishment was overcoming her fear of heights. “I had vertigo, and I did a 120-foot free fall,” she said. “I’m still patting myself on the shoulder for that one.”


4. She grew up watching many of the actors she works with today.

Coming full circle in her career, Ferguson was ecstatic when she was given the opportunity to work with McQuarrie — who directed her favorite movie, The Usual Suspects. She also starred alongside Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, who she called “absolutely brilliant,” in 2016’s Florence Foster Jenkins.


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“I’ve been so lucky and fortunate to work with many of the people who I have adored to watch,” she told PEOPLE.




5. She makes a mean meatball.

Out of all the Swedish dishes she’s made for her family, meatballs are by far her favorite food to cook. “I rock [at cooking them], I really do.”


She joked that she makes them so often that whenever something important happens, she’s always busy with her “hands deep in minced meat.”


6. She once saved a woman’s life on an airplane.

Ferguson wasn’t afraid to spring into action when a woman aboard her plane required medical attention.


“The woman behind me got some kind of a seizure,” the actress recalled to PEOPLE Now in 2017. “And something happened — either I’d watched a lot of House or ER, but I kind of just knew what to do.”


Ferguson said she instructed the woman to lie down and put her legs up, telling the flight attendants to give her orange juice instead of water because “the C vitamin is very good for your body.”


7. She has two children.

Ferguson is the proud mother of two. She welcomed her second child, a girl, in 2018. The Mission: Impossible star also shares son Isaac, who was born in 2007, with ex-boyfriend Ludwig Hallberg. She previously spoke about being a working mom in Hollywood.

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“[My son] comes to the set, I go off and leave him with the stunt guys, and I come in, and he’s hanging off a harness somewhere. He loves it, but I don’t think he would like to act,” Ferguson told the Belfast Telegraph in October 2017.

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8. She got married over the holidays in 2019.

The actress revealed the details of her intimate wedding ceremony to husband Rory — whose last name she has not disclosed — to Extra, sharing that her son was ring bearer and her daughter slept through the ceremony.


“I think we both wanted to step over all thresholds. Also, I’m not very religious. I believe in love,” Ferguson said. “It was more for us and our family. We rented a cottage with friends and family and Wellington boots and big wooly socks and big ruggy jumpers …”


As for her wedding dress, Ferguson kept it simple: “I wore a beautiful skirt, a wedding skirt, that I can shorten off, get some pockets in, and use in Greece for the summer!”

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