Rebecca Ferguson Explains Why She Bowed Out of the ‘Mission: Impossible’ Franchise | Video

Rebecca Ferguson made a very final exit from the “Mission: Impossible” franchise this year, leaving fans who love Ilsa Faust reeling after “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning.” But how exactly did her death come about? According to the actress, it was a two-handed decision.

Ferguson first joined up with Tom Cruise and his IMF crew in “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” and then subsequently returned as Ilsa “Fallout” and “Dead Reckoning: Part One” (the “Part One” of the title was later dropped). With “Dead Reckoning,” Ferguson’s three-picture deal ended. So, she was faced with a decision — and a concrete offer — on whether or not she wanted to come back for more.

Appearing in an upcoming episode of WrapWomen’s “UnWrapped” podcast, Ferguson explained that her exit was “collaborative,” in that it was her choice to leave, but the exact means of her exit came down to cowriter-director Christopher McQuarrie and his team.

Of course, Ferguson totally understands the resulting emotions that hit fans with her fictional death, because she felt them, too. But, she wasn’t sure the character could go where she’d hoped it would.

“To speak very clearly — because I know a lot of people are sad about it, I’m sad about it — I had filmed three films. My deal was done,” Ferguson said. “And I love her beyond words. Beyond words. I think she’s the most awesome, fantastic character.”

The actress expressed, though, that with the fourth film about to be written and the offer on the table, it seemed to her that there wasn’t “enough space” for Ilsa to be the character she was.

“Ilsa was becoming a team player. And we all can want different things, but for me, Ilsa was rogue,” she explained. “Ilsa was naughty. Ilsa was unpredictable. There was a lot of characters coming in, not leaving enough space for what she had been.”

Beyond the character elements, Ferguson admitted she also considered how much of her time she would have to give up in order to keep going with the physically demanding franchise.

“Selfishly, that’s a lot of time to make a ‘Mission’ film. And unless you’re going to have a lot of screen time, that’s a lot of time sitting around waiting to film a huge movie that could take over a year to film,” she said. “It’s dedication.”

“There’s a moment where you think it needs to be worth it, not just to love the character and to embrace Tom and [McQuarrie] and the story. I want to work, man. I want to work. I don’t want to sit in a trailer and know that there’s maybe coming a scene in credits.”

Ferguson went on to explain that, because McQuarrie’s “Mission” films are notorious for working out scripts on the fly and the production is “so extravagant,” there ends up being a lot of downtime for many on the cast.

“You have to literally jump when they say jump, and that’s why it’s amazing. You’re highly trained, highly skilled. It is so intoxicatingly exciting when you’re rolling, but there’s a lot of waiting,” she said. “And the more characters that are brought in, the more waiting.”

Ferguson was quick to point out that, since she wrapped “Dead Reckoning: Part One,” she’s filmed two “Dune” movies and two seasons of her Apple TV+ series “Silo.”

You can watch Ferguson’s full comments on her “Mission: Impossible” exit in the video above.

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