At the center of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, of course, is Tom Cruise, not only the eternally fresh face of the franchise, but a man who’s seemingly willing to risk bodily harm just to impress moviegoers. But anyone who caught Cruise in Rogue Nation this weekend was likely equally wowed by newcomer Rebecca Ferguson, who plays Cruise’s high-kicking, deep-diving, bike-riding new foil, Ilsa Faust.
The 31-year-old Swede, whom Cruise personally championed for the role, has already been called “The second coming of Lauren Bacall,” with others comparing her classic glamour to that of countrywoman Ingrid Bergman. Certainly, her Mission character embodies those two actress’ same sense of mystery: Though Faust is supposed to be working under employment of the rogue Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), she routinely bails Hunt out of peril with stunning displays of badassery, and also proves his most enticing potential love interest yet.
It’s a huge role for an actress whose only prior major Hollywood part was in a small role opposite Dwayne Johnson in last summer’s actioner Hercules, though she also headlined the British TV series The White Queen as Elizabeth Woodville.
Given that Rogue Nation marks her big introduction to the U.S. Nation, we asked Ferguson about some other ‘firsts’ throughout her life and career, which you can watch in the video above. The Stockholm native came across as modest and charming in discussing how nervous she was to watch herself on the big screen and walk the red carpet for the first time. “I usually hide when I know my scenes are coming up,” Ferguson said. “Under an arm, under a pillow… It’s unsettling. It takes some time getting used to, if you ever do.”
Ferguson also professed her love for No Doubt and Titanic, which she may have seen in theaters even more times than you.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is now in theaters. Watch Tom Cruise share secrets from his best M:I stunts: