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Why Jenny Lind From The Greatest Showman Looks So Familiar

"The Greatest Showman" proved to be one of the biggest surprise hits of 2017 when it premiered, eventually pulling in over $436 million from its theatrical release (via Box Office Mojo). A fantastical film chronicling the life of P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman), the film carried audiences away with its whimsical musical numbers and phenomenal performances. Not only did Hugh Jackman stand out, but the film's supporting cast is also worth noting, including Zac Efron, Zendaya, and many more. In particular, one character who made their mark in the film was Jenny Lind, a singer referred to in the movie as "The Swedish Nightingale."

Upon the debut of "The Greatest Showman," and in the years since the film hit the big screen, many members of the audience likely found Jenny Lind incredibly familiar. That's because the character is portrayed by Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson, who has become a prolific working actor in Hollywood over the last decade. Given the sheer scope of Ferguson's list of IMDb credits, these are some of the roles that mainstream filmgoers may recognize her from over the course of her career.

She plays Ilsa Faust in the Mission: Impossible franchise

Rebecca Ferguson has been working in Hollywood and European cinema for quite some time, but arguably her biggest break came when Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise cast her in "Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation" in 2015. In her role as Ilsa Faust, an MI6 agent who went undercover to infiltrate the Syndicate, Ferguson proves a match for Cruise's Ethan Hunt, showing herself to be an expert fighter and capable motorcyclist. Much of the film's energy lies in the fact that audiences can never fully grasp whose side she is on until the finale, in which she fully aligns herself with Ethan.

From "Rogue Nation," Ferguson then reprised the role as Ilsa in "Mission: Impossible – Fallout" in 2018, at which point she was seemingly adopted as a full-time member of Ethan's Impossible Missions Force team. She is expected to appear in "Mission: Impossible 7" and "Mission: Impossible 8," which (per Screen Rant) are rumored to end Cruise's nearly 30-year tenure with the series.

She battled an alien lifeform in Life

2017 was a big year for Rebecca Ferguson. Not only did she appear as Jenny Lind in the aforementioned musical, "The Greatest Showman," but she also got a chance to enter the sci-fi horror genre as well. Specifically, she teamed up with director Daniel Espinosa for "Life," an "Alien"-inspired horror romp about an astronaut crew that slowly gets picked apart by an alien creature they discovered in outer space. In addition to Ferguson, the film's cast also includes Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds, among others. Ferguson's character is eventually a casualty of the film's unwillingness to pull its punches. While the story's climax sets her up to potentially survive while Gyllenhaal's character sacrifices himself, the film ends with the gut-punch fake-out that Gyllenhaal actually makes it back to earth (with the alien in tow) while Ferguson is callously jettisoned out into space.

"Life" ultimately proved to be a moderate success at the box office upon its initial debut. Based on reporting from The Numbers, it earned over $100 million at the box office during its theatrical run. Though nowhere near the astronomical success of some of Ferguson's other films, it allowed her to enter a different genre than many audiences were used to seeing her in at the time.

She played an alien in Men in Black: International

Rebecca Ferguson went from battling an alien in 2017 to actually becoming an alien in 2019 when she entered the "Men in Black" universe. Directed by F. Gary Gray, "Men in Black: International" saw the franchise attempt a reboot with new leads in the form of Marvel stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. The basic formula remained similar to the original: A scrappy recruit is brought into the Men in Black organization and taken under the wing of an experienced agent to battle alien threats.

In "Men in Black: International," Ferguson portrayed Riza, an alien arms dealer and former romantic interest to Chris Hemsworth's Agent H. Her role in the movie is largely confined to one set piece where the agents arrive on Riza's island in an attempt to learn more information about an alien weapon. The result is a fight sequence in which it is revealed that Riza has two sets of arms and can easily take on both of the Men in Black agents.

She was Rose the Hat in Doctor Sleep

Rebecca Ferguson has worked with several auteur filmmakers throughout her career. One of the most interesting collaborations came in 2019 when she partnered with Mike Flanagan for the release of "Doctor Sleep." Based on the works of Stephen King, the film is a sequel to both "The Shining" book as well as Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" film, somehow managing to thread both of those distinct narratives into something cohesive. In "Doctor Sleep," Ferguson portrays Rose the Hat, the leader of the True Knot — a wandering band of vampire-like beings who suck the life force out of individuals who "shine" in order to sustain their eternal life.

In "Doctor Sleep," Rose is brutal and uncompromising in her hunt for the people who serve as her food, killing a child to feed her group in a particularly visceral scene that Ferguson recalled as difficult to film (via The Wrap). That said, in an interview with Refinery29, she also shied away from overtly defining Rose as evil, instead referring to her as a "predator." The character ultimately meets her demise during a climactic showdown with Dan Torrance (Ewan McGregor) and Abra (Kyliegh Curran).

She is Lady Jessica in the Dune franchise

One of Rebecca Ferguson's most recent projects was her debut as Lady Jessica Atreides in Denis Villeneuve's 2021 sci-fi epic, "Dune." Inheriting the role from Francesca Annis, who portrayed Lady Jessica in David Lynch's iteration of "Dune," Ferguson plays the character as a loving-yet-stern trainer for her son Paul (Timothée Chalamet). She is aware of the heroic fate that lies ahead of him and does everything in her power to train him for the mission ahead. She also is a master of "the Voice," an ability to use her voice to command anyone to do what she wishes.

2021's "Dune" will not be the last that audiences see of Rebecca Ferguson in her role as Lady Jessica. As the first film was a major success for Warner Bros., a sequel has subsequently been announced. In recent remarks made to Collider, Villeneuve confirmed that the script for the second installment in the "Dune" franchise is complete. The crew is currently preparing for the shoot, with the film expected to make its scheduled release date of October 20, 2023.