Dune actor Rebecca Ferguson recently decided to push her own feminist message while marketing the upcoming science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve and based on Frank Herbert’s well-loved novel.
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Ferguson, who plays Lady Jessica in the film, did a video interview with YouTuber Jake Hamilton of Jake’s Takes, infamously known for trying to bait Henry Cavill into describing his fans as “toxic.”
At around the 11:15 mark in the below video, Hamilton says, “I’m in the middle of my re-read of Dune right now. And I’m sort of in awe of how much of this story belongs to and is driven forward by Lady Jessica ’cause in the year 2021, we as an audience, we tend to flip out any time we ever get a well-written, strong, beautifully developed female character because unfortunately it doesn’t happen as frequently as it should.”
He then asked, “I’m sort of curious, what does it say about Frank Herbert and Dune that he did something in the 60s that we still can’t manage to do as often as we should today.”
“Praise him. It’s incredible,” Ferguson responded. “At the same it’s not even close to what equality should be, funnily enough. Yet, we praise the fact that he was close and that’s good enough. Well, monsieur it’s not.”
Ferguson continued, “But I think it’s wonderful to be able to embody… It’s a funny one isn’t it because we talk about equality and we think she’s so strong and powerful and she is. At the same time, she’s not in the room that makes the biggest decisions. The decisions that are socially accepted as being the decisions. At the same time she manipulates the entire universe and creates chaos all over the place. It’s just a fun ongoing conversation isn’t it?”
Hamilton then interjected, “I look forward to the day where it doesn’t have to be a conversation anymore.”
To that Ferguson said, “That’s the thing. Or where we compliment and when we go, ‘God well done. We nearly put the woman in the seat. Isn’t that amazing? Good for us.’”
Ferguson then brought up a previous interview question she received, “I got a question where someone says what is it like when you have those masculine attributes. And I thought, ‘What being a mechanic?’ But its not to criticize journalism or conversation, it is the society. It’s what it is. There is masculine traits and feminine traits and you and I know exactly that we know exactly what to put where.”
“The point is that it doesn’t have to happen anymore. We can just be very cool because we’re very good at something we do. And I feel that with Jessica. It is genderless even though, yes, she obviously is a mother. She has created a child, but her powers, her attributes, her strengths, her decisions are human and powerful for what they are,” Ferguson concluded.
This isn’t the first time Ferugson has made similar comments like this while promoting Dune. YouTuber Nerd Cookies covered a previous interview with YouTuber Alex Zane.
In that interview, Ferguson accuses the book of being sexist.
She stated, “I do know of what I remember Denis saying to me. He tried to stay as loyal to the book as possible. But you also need to adapt it to a 2021 audience.”
“Especially with how women were perceived, and how they were written in the 60s etc.. She needs to be so much more relatable. And I don’t know if that shift was hard for them to do. It felt very natural and easy reading the script and acting it. I think they’ve done a very good job to recreate the book into the film,” she added.
Interestingly enough in the same interview she admits that she didn’t actually finish reading the book.
She said, “I read like 20 pages and I went absolutely not. You must be joking.”
What do you make of Fergusson’s comments?