While “Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation” brings together the best and the brightest of the IMF in hot pursuit of The Syndicate, the film also bring several new faces into Ethan Hunt’s (Tom Cruise) world. Most notably, Hunt meets Ilsa Faust, a woman who literally takes him by storm, with savvy and skills that rival his own.
To play Ilsa, the femme fatale who reverses the tables on Hunt, the filmmakers chose a relative unknown: Rebecca Ferguson, who hails from Sweden, and was recently seen in “Hercules.” She won the role in part because she was a total surprise, says director Christopher McQuarrie. “When I first saw Rebecca on tape, she was 180 degrees from what I thought I was looking for. But Tom and I just looked at each other and said, ‘that’s her.’ Immediately we saw that she had the energy we wanted – she was independent, elegant, full of grace and maturity,” the director observes. “We called her in to read with Tom and they instantly clicked. Everyone just stood back and watched the chemistry.”