Rebecca Ferguson Shares Her “Dune 2” Guidelines with Denis Villeneuve

Rebecca Ferguson Shares Her “Dune 2” Guidelines with Denis Villeneuve

Dune fever rages on. Within the month for the reason that movie’s premiere, the desert-set Sci-Fi epic has torn via field workplace information, spawned a whole universe’s value of otherworldly trend references, and given rise to a slew of latest family names. One such title is Rebecca Ferguson, who stars as Girl Jessica, an extraterrestrial matriarch whose revolutionary potential threatens to disrupt common order, in Dune. Regardless of a profession studded with blockbuster titles (from The Biggest Showman and Physician Sleep to the Mission: Not possible saga), Ferguson’s efficiency marks a long-overdue pivot to steer roles, signaling her arrival as a Hollywood heavy-hitter able to anchor any marquee. 
For Denis Villeneuve, the Dune director and Ferguson’s longtime buddy, casting the Swedish actor to play the strongest girl within the universe felt like a no brainer. “Generally, Rebecca, once you really feel that every little thing is just too snug,” Villeneuve instructed Ferguson on a latest Zoom name, “You wish to throw a bomb.” For Villeneuve, Ferguson’s mix of charisma and chunk was the key sauce that reworked Girl Jessica into the type of magnetic on-screen presence that viewers witnessed. What’s extra, it makes for lots of on-set hijinks: over months of filming, the pair developed a friendship that has not waned within the weeks for the reason that movie’s press circuit wound down earlier this month. In reality, the pair can’t get sufficient: Villeneuve has already begun writing the trilogy’s second installment, and Ferguson has an extended listing of calls for, concerning outfit adjustments and her character’s arc, on the prepared. So, it was solely pure that we turned to Ferguson and Villeneuve—two individuals who by no means get uninterested in speaking Dune, or of one another—for a dialogue of the movie’s meteoric impression, Ferguson’s method to her function, and what to anticipate from Dune Half II. —MARA VEITCH
DENIS VILLENEUVE: Whats up, Madame!
REBECCA FERGUSON: Hello! I’ve by no means accomplished this earlier than…
VILLENEUVE: You’ve by no means accomplished an interview by Zoom? It’s 2021!
FERGUSON: With one in every of my closest associates? No! I’ve to be actually cautious, you recognize me. I’m gonna must chunk my tongue.
VILLENEUVE: When you don’t thoughts, I’ve my very own questions for you. I used to be making an attempt to give you questions that folks may by no means ask you, however individuals ask you questions on a regular basis, so I apologize if these aren’t new. You may simply say, “fuck off,” and we will transfer on.
VILLENEUVE: I’m unsure you’re going to love this one. As soon as, somebody requested Lars von Trier why he grew to become a filmmaker. His reply was, “Once I was a child, I used to be strolling within the countryside and all of a sudden a flying saucer flew over me. Then, I grew to become a filmmaker.” So inform me, why did you turn into an actress? The place did the spark come from?
FERGUSON: I by no means thought that I used to be going to be an actress. My mother, who’s so eccentric, made me attempt so many issues—whether or not it was studying to play bridge with three 70-year-old ladies, or faucet dancing. As soon as, there was a casting for a cleaning soap opera in my neighborhood, and the queue for the audition was across the block. I don’t bear in mind the method, however I grew to become the lead of this cleaning soap opera.
FERGUSON: I didn’t adore it. It wasn’t till I met the opposite main actor, who was a well known heartthrob for us women, that I began having fun with it. 
VILLENEUVE: And also you had by no means been to any performing faculty?
FERGUSON: No theater, no faculty performs. The cleaning soap opera went on for 2 years. Two and a half episodes a day.
VILLENEUVE: In order that was an training in itself. Did you cease going to highschool?
FERGUSON: From that time, I by no means had any extra training.
VILLENEUVE: [Laughs] That explains so many issues.

FERGUSON: Properly, I began working.
VILLENEUVE: You began working at 15 years previous?
FERGUSON: I moved away from house, every little thing. I had a flat, I had earnings, I had accountability. That’s why I used to be such a insurgent in your set.
VILLENEUVE: You’re an actress of extraordinary precision and a really excessive focus. You could be joking round on set, and I can ask you to go to a zone of excessive vulnerability and feelings in entrance of the digicam, and you may swap in a cut up second. I used to be at all times destabilized by how briskly you may dive into character. How do you obtain that? 
FERGUSON: I’ve labored a very long time, however I’m nonetheless discovering my means, my course of. It adjustments each time.
VILLENEUVE: I relate a lot to that. When individuals say, “What’s your recipe?” I inform them I’m nonetheless studying.
FERGUSON: I’ve requested you a lot instances, “What do you do within the morning? Do you drink espresso?” I really like listening to individuals’s routines for a way they begin their day. For me, I do quite a lot of prep work. I break down scripts, and I at all times have somebody—an performing coach, a dialect coach—to speak about scenes with.
VILLENEUVE: Do you ever have hassle accessing a personality?
FERGUSON: Once I do, it’s as a result of it’s a small scene or character. Excessive voltage feelings I’ve no downside with. It’s the smaller issues the place I battle to not simply be Rebecca on digicam. However I’m a believer of trusting my director. If I belief that they’re seeing one thing in me, then we’ll get there.
VILLENEUVE: As a French Canadian, after I speak in English, I’ve a barely completely different persona. I’m a bit extra clumsy and goofy.
FERGUSON: However you’re not goofy once you’re talking French! 
VILLENEUVE: I’m tremendous darkish, severe, and cerebral. [Laughs] Whenever you act in Swedish, is one thing completely different? Is it simpler?
FERGUSON: I haven’t acted in a Swedish movie for thus lengthy— assume I’d really feel so snug. This may sound… How do I say this. I’m conscious that I’ve accomplished very nicely for myself as an actress. So, to return again to Sweden and do a Swedish movie would make me really feel very secure. I wouldn’t really feel like a rookie. In the meantime, after I do an American accent, I really feel very claustrophobic. I can’t advert lib, I can’t simply glide as a result of I fear about intonation, so my goofiness can not come via. 
VILLENEUVE: What about an English accent?
FERGUSON: English I really feel high quality with.
VILLENEUVE: One factor that persons are at all times seduced by is your incredible humorousness. You’re a very humorous human being.
FERGUSON: In your set I felt very free. On some units, not a lot.

VILLENEUVE: What do you assume makes you humorous?
FERGUSON: A few years in the past, I had  a change in my life, and all of a sudden easy communication didn’t do it for me anymore. Some individuals really feel you could simply fluctuate like a butterfly on flowers in dialog, nevertheless it makes me fairly pressured.
VILLENEUVE: I perceive.
FERGUSON: I like going straight into it—“So, how’s your intercourse life? Are you content?”
VILLENEUVE: That’s very Ferguson-like. Once I wished to give you the half in Dune, we had been excited to speak to you, however you had been doing just a little little bit of sabotage. Generally in interviews, you want to impress. I imply, it’s hilarious, I adore it. Generally, Rebecca, once you really feel that every little thing is just too snug, you wish to throw a bomb. Is that this a strategy to take a look at individuals’s love?
FERGUSON: No, I’ve simply at all times accomplished it. I don’t analyze it. Once I really feel secure, I simply have to shake it up a bit and see if every little thing holds collectively.
VILLENEUVE: To check the boundaries?
FERGUSON: Not on a regular basis. Additionally, as soon as I open up with somebody such as you, we will begin to have moments of quiet as a result of we’ve then tapped into one another’s frequency. It’s susceptible to present your self away!
VILLENEUVE: There’s one thing about authenticity. You like authenticity.
FERGUSON: I do. Don’t you?
VILLENEUVE: It has introduced me deep consolation. I really like when persons are true with me. I hate schmoozing, that’s why I’m such dangerous firm. I’m a thousand instances extra snug with somebody coming as much as me and saying, “Denis, I hate your film.” 
FERGUSON: I used to be at a kids’s social gathering with my daughter as we speak. Folks both know me or don’t know me—I don’t analyze it, I don’t give it some thought. I’m simply me. We stroll up and say hi there to the hosts, and the mom says, “I truly don’t know what you do.”
VILLENEUVE: That’s cool.
FERGUSON: You then get a selection. The selection is, can we go down this street, or not? I stated, “I work in movie.” And he or she stated, Oh! Have you ever been in something that I’d know?” And I stated, “I’ve simply accomplished a movie known as Dune.” She stopped and stared at me, and stated, “What are you speaking about? I simply noticed it on the IMAX yesterday.” Then she acknowledged me and began shaking and practically crying! She was so shocked, and I turned so crimson. I used to be like, “Don’t be embarrassed! Did you take pleasure in it?” However my level is, it was so honest. Ultimately I laughed and he or she laughed. 
VILLENEUVE: I imply, it’s unusual to go to a child’s social gathering and see Girl Jessica chopping the cake [Laughs].
FERGUSON: I used to be sporting massive socks as a result of I bicycled there, and an enormous hat.
VILLENEUVE: That claims loads about you and your relationship with actuality. You’re a really grounded human being.
FERGUSON: We journey a lot, and we see a lot, and meet so many individuals. and I’m joyful and energetic, however after I come house from set, I’m fairly drained, I’ve given quite a bit. 
VILLENEUVE: As soon as, an actress instructed me, “Your mind is aware of that you simply’re performing, however your physique doesn’t, so that you’re going via all this stuff that your physique doesn’t know aren’t actual.” 
FERGUSON: That’s so true. That’s why after I come house, I paddle board on the Thames, I’m going rowing, I set up picnics within the backyard. And my associates cycle via, our house is at all times open for individuals to return and go. 
VILLENEUVE: Your bubble is an anchor for you.
FERGUSON: Yeah. Do you want that? 

VILLENEUVE: I utterly relate to that. I can solely do films due to my household and my spouse. What’s your relationship together with your on-screen self? Is there a narcissistic aspect of you which means you’re keen on seeing your self on display? Or is it extra complicated? 
FERGUSON: I feel Josh [Brolin] stated it so nicely: “There’s the movie we learn and signal onto, there’s the movie we make every single day for months, after which there’s the movie we see later.” They’re all completely different. I can signal on to a mission, after which notice throughout the course of that it’s not going the best way I would like it to, then wait till it’s completed to search out out for positive. I’m at a stage the place I’m selecting movies that I truly like, the place I truly do wish to see the movie. There have been earlier moments in my profession the place I didn’t love the movie, however I simply wished work.
VILLENEUVE: And what in regards to the narcissism a part of my query?
FERGUSON: There are such a lot of features for me of watching myself that get me actually depressed. What am I going to appear to be? That’s primary, then there’s the arc of the character. I watched a movie of mine not too long ago and I burst out crying. I hated it. 
VILLENEUVE: Which film?
VILLENEUVE: Okay, a film. I apologize.
FERGUSON: I’ll textual content you about it later.
VILLENEUVE: I believed it was my film.  I used to be like, “Whoops!”
FERGUSON: Oh, my god no. 
VILLENEUVE:  I’d’ve been so unhappy. You recognize, I’m narcissistic.
FERGUSON: All of us are. They utterly modified my character, the selection of photographs was off. I used to be like, “Not solely do I hate it, I hate myself!” I used to be actually upset. I known as a gathering, which I’ve by no means accomplished earlier than, and I stated, “These are my points— bam, bam, bam. What can we do?” They did numerous main tweaks. Dune had so many unimaginable moments in it. Watching it actually affected me— I believed, “What an incredible film. Oh my god, I’m in it!”
VILLENEUVE: I had an analogous second as we had been taking pictures. We had simply accomplished a shot, and I stated to you, “I want I used to be making a full film with you—wait, I’m doing it proper now!” [Laughs] An actor as soon as instructed me that he considers his paycheck in alternate for promotion—not performing. Interviews and promotion was thought of work for him. Is doing interviews one thing that you simply take pleasure in? 
FERGUSON: I can’t actually stand actors who go, “Ugh, I’ve to do promotion.” I feel to myself, “Buddy, suck it up. This is part of the job, so make it enjoyable.” It may be fairly tedious, you’re sat in a room, it’s day 5, you’ve 50 back-to-back interviews, you already know the questions. But it surely’s your job to make that enjoyable. And I agree with that actor you talked about—I discover it odd that I’m even getting paid for this work in any respect. Plus, any journalist who has watched Dune arrives at an interview exuding pleasure.
FERGUSON: Once I’m interviewed by somebody who’s overcome with pleasure, how can I not have probably the most joyous dialog?
VILLENEUVE: I completely agree with you. It’s one thing that each journalist ought to know.
FERGUSON: If I get a pissy journalist who can’t muster up the vitality to be just a little bit enthusiastic, I’ll mirror their perspective. No downside.
VILLENEUVE: [Laughs] I used to be stunned that Venice was your first movie competition. Was it every little thing that you simply had imagined? It’s a fantastic movie competition. 
FERGUSON: I don’t really feel like I actually skilled a movie competition. Due to quarantining, we couldn’t see different movies, so I didn’t really feel actually related in that sense. Seeing our movie was unimaginable, however I felt actually lonely, due to the house between individuals for COVID security. Zendaya was two seats away, Timmy was on the opposite aspect of the theater, and I couldn’t really feel individuals’s vitality. Once I noticed it in London with a full viewers, I used to be like, “Woah!”
VILLENEUVE: Yeah, that was superior. Exhibiting the film in Venice felt like a small victory over the pandemic. I’m deeply moved that there will likely be a Dune half two, as a result of I deeply beloved working with you. 
FERGUSON: That was a pleasure for me as nicely. 
VILLENEUVE: I’ve a final query for you nevertheless it’s extra of a gird. I’m writing Dune half two proper now, so if there’s something you want to do within the movie, now’s the time to ask. 
FERGUSON: I’ve a guidelines! It’s right here on my cellphone. First, I would really like you to put on the chain gown all through the complete shoot.
VILLENEUVE: I’ll see, it will be—
FERGUSON: —An honor? I agree.
VILLENEUVE: Perhaps it can arouse me in some methods, and I’ll take pleasure in it. I don’t know the way it is going to be obtained by the crew, although.
FERGUSON: You recognize you’ve created successful once you turn into a Halloween costume. The quantity of Girl Jessicas on the market on Halloween, that’s an enormous fucking deal, man.
VILLENEUVE: The Girl Jessica character was an enormous success.
FERGUSON: She wouldn’t be something with out you. 
VILLENEUVE: Oh, please. It was a pleasure to speak to you, my buddy. I’m trying ahead to seeing you in entrance of my digicam once more quickly.
FERGUSON: I have already got our first shoot date in my calendar.

Hair Stylist: Alain Pichon

Make-up Artist: Emma Lovell at The Wall Group

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