15 Minutes with Rebecca Ferguson

The Swedish screen star talks to LA Mag about her lead role in the upcoming series “Silo”

Famed for big roles in blockbusters like Mission Impossible and Dune, Rebecca Ferguson returns to TV to lead the Apple TV+ adaptation of Hugh Howey’s Silo sci-fi books.

Silo follows the story of the last 10,000 people on Earth who live in an underground society, supposedly to protect them from the toxic and ruined world on the surface.

LA Magazine: What was your first reaction to landing the lead in Silo?

Rebecca Ferguson: It felt lovely. But to be honest, to get the lead in a huge series is one thing but you also have to fall in love with the storyline and the arc. I think that [screenwriter] Graham [Yost] had adapted such a good version of Hugh’s books. I hadn’t read them, but when I later read them, I realized how brilliant Graham had adapted them for the TV so I felt more proud of being a part of the journey of it rather than being the lead of it. Sometimes that can be a bit scary.

Your character Juliet is a badass but also has a sense of vulnerability.

The layers of her make it so intriguing and fun for me. She’s vulnerable and she’s broken and people have died around her and she’s going through trauma and all she wants is the truth and then she’s not really prepared for the journey that comes after needing the truth and the motion that she activates.

You started your career in television but now you’re predominantly a film actor. Did you find it refreshing to step back into TV, where you can develop a character over the course of 10 episodes?

Yes and no. I don’t really compare them in that sense because with the character that I’ve been given for Dune, for example, it’s a film but it’s divided into two films and there’s such an arc for my character. The journey I get to go on in that is incredible. [Silo] happens to become such a good show that it could have been a film for me.

Similar to Dune, Silo is based on a big book with a huge base of fans. Do you feel any pressure to satisfy them?

Of course, there can be pressure but I try not to think about that. There are so many fan pages, so many people who are devoted to [Howey’s] books and who love the characters. They give so much to what I can create in the character, what they loved about the character, how they looked, how they move, act and their dynamics. I could take that and use it to create something. So having the book and them there was all I needed.

You were in great shape for this role. 

I just want to eat! I trained and moved a lot and I boxed. I wanted to build a physique so that it is believable that she is within the character that she is. It asks for physical strength, so she couldn’t be a little sparrow.

You’re an executive producer on Silo, what does that actually entail? 

To be honest, I don’t have a chair on set that says producer, so it’s more the fact that I do more work. I sit more in meetings and talk about how we want it to look with Apple marketing. I listened and I learned about the whole aspect of it. It’s really fun to be a part of the bigger picture because also you put so much more effort into it.

You mentioned Dune earlier, but you also have Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning coming up. What can people expect?

I think they can expect another Mission Impossible, with whatever that entails! I think it might be better, it wouldn’t surprise me, those guys are good at that. I think it’s going to be a little bit darker too, which I like.

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