Why Rebecca Ferguson Originally Turned Down Life, And Why She Reconsidered

Life Rebecca Ferguson and Jake Gyllenhaal float in ISS

In the filmmaking world, the director's vision means everything. No matter how great a script is, it still needs to be executed properly in order to be turned into a great film. This is exactly what hung in the balance as Rebecca Ferguson was considering whether or not to be a part of the new sci-fi thriller Life, but it was ultimately the perspective provided by Daniel Espinosa that got her to sign on the dotted line. She recently told me,

I read the script, and I mean, Rhett [Reese] and Paul [Wernick] have written an incredible script. It was a page turner, I was nervous, I was scared, and I called the producer and I said, 'Nah, I can't do it. I won't live up to standard.' And she said, 'Talk to Daniel.' And 10 minutes into it I realized this man has such a philosophical/human behaviorism idea about this film. We can take space away, we can take [the alien] Calvin away, and it's still a characteristic drama, which I love being a part of!

With Life set to make its debut in theaters this Friday, I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Rebecca Ferguson this past weekend at the film's press day in Austin, Texas to talk about her work on the movie. To start the conversation, I asked her about her work with Daniel Espinosa and how her character, Miranda North, evolved during their collaboration. As you can see, she explained that it was really the director's approach to the material on the whole that convinced her that she was right for the material.

In Life, Miranda North is one of six astronauts aboard the International Space Station who become world famous when they discover the first extraterrestrial lifeform (which is named Calvin). Unfortunately for the crew, their experiments with it ultimately lead to what could politely be referred to as a "conflict," and soon enough it becomes a battle for survival in a closed environment with a creature that is both rapidly growing and evolving. The minimalistic approach and closed door narrative most definitely opens it up questions about survival and sacrifice, and while the movie happens to be made as science-fiction, as Rebecca Ferguson says it is definitely a classic story that extends beyond its genre.

You can watch Rebecca Ferguson discuss her first reactions to the Life script and her conversations with director Daniel Espinosa in the video below!

As noted above, Life arrives in theaters everywhere this Friday, and be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more from our interviews with the stars as well as Daniel Espinosa, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick!

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.