Rebecca Ferguson Says Her “Mission: Impossible” Character's Death Was 'Collaborative,' Not 'Enough Space' in Franchise

With “a lot of characters” joining the Tom Cruise franchise, Rebecca Ferguson says she had to make a difficult decision to have the “awesome” Ilsa Faust exit

<p>Keith Hamshere/Paramount Pictures/ Everett </p> Rebecca Ferguson in "Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation"

Keith Hamshere/Paramount Pictures/ Everett

Rebecca Ferguson in "Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation"

Rebecca Ferguson is clarifying the reasons behind her exit from the Mission: Impossible franchise.

The actress behind Ilsa Faust called the character’s planned death in 2023’s Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One “collaborative” in an upcoming interview on WrapWomen’s UnWrapped podcast, per TheWrap.

“Ilsa was becoming a team player,” said Ferguson, 40, of her butt-kicking assassin first introduced in 2015’s fifth entry in the Tom Cruise-led series, Rogue Nation. “And we all can want different things, but for me… Ilsa was naughty. Ilsa was unpredictable.”

Related: How Tom Cruise Executed His 'Most Dangerous' Stunt in 'Mission: Impossible –Dead Reckoning Part One'

In the franchise’s sixth and seventh entries, there were “a lot of characters coming in, not leaving enough space for what she had been,” she added.

Ilsa’s introduction to the Mission: Impossible world preceded Vanessa Kirby as Alanna Mitsopolis a.k.a. the White Widow, Angela Bassett as CIA Director Erika Sloane, Henry Cavill as CIA assassin August Walker, Pom Klementieff as assassin Paris, Hayley Atwell as thief Grace and Esai Morales as terrorist Gabriel.

It was the latter character who murderously ended Ferguson’s reign as the “rogue” Ilsa, as the Dune star reportedly said on UnWrapped. “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 [contract] deal was done.”

<p>Chiabella James/Paramount/Everett</p> Rebecca Ferguson and Tom Cruise in "Mission: Impossible – Fallout"

Chiabella James/Paramount/Everett

Rebecca Ferguson and Tom Cruise in "Mission: Impossible – Fallout"

She added that she loves her Mission: Impossible character “beyond words. I think she’s the most awesome, fantastic character.”

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Other considerations, she said, were the physical and logistical commitments to continuing in a blockbuster action 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.”

Ferguson added, “There’s a moment where you think it needs to be worth it, not just to love the character and to embrace Tom and [writer-director Christopher McQuarrie] and the story. I want to work, man. I want to work. I don’t want to sit in a trailer… ​​It is so intoxicatingly exciting when you’re rolling, but there’s a lot of waiting.”

<p>Daniele Venturelli/Getty</p> Rebecca Ferguson in 2023

Daniele Venturelli/Getty

Rebecca Ferguson in 2023

Related: Rebecca Ferguson 'Got Phone Calls from Amazing Costars' After Her Viral Story of 'Idiot' Actor Who 'Screamed' at Her

For a growing franchise — whose eighth film is expected to hit screens on May 23, 2025 — the star noted, “The more characters that are brought in, the more waiting.” After wrapping up Ilsa's story in Dead Reckoning Part One, Ferguson pointed out, she filmed both Dune movies and two seasons of Apple TV+ drama Silo

Ferguson also stars in the 2025 sci-fi drama Mercy with Annabelle Wallis and Chris Pratt.

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