Rebecca Ferguson from ‘Mission: Impossible’ to ‘The Girl on the Train’

Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson, who came to the attention of global audiences with her breakthrough performance in Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation, stars in DreamWorks Pictures’ “The Girl on the Train” as Anna, the new wife of Rachel’s (Emily Blunt) ex-husband, Tom (Justin Theroux).

“Rebecca is a lovely actress who is coming into her own,” says producer Marc Platt. “The camera loves her.”

Based on Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel, The Girl on the Train is directed by Tate Taylor (“The Help”) and adapted for the screen by Erin Cressida Wilson. In the film, Rachel (Blunt), who is devastated by her recent divorce, spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day, until one morning she sees something shocking happen there and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds.

An adoring new mother to baby Evie, Anna has left her career in real estate and devotes her energy to building the ideal home for her family. “I see Anna as a woman who had the check list,” describes Ferguson. “When I was younger, people said, ‘You’re supposed to be married before this age, and you’re supposed to have this much money and children. Anna has checked the list, and is now just trying maintain it. Her little baby is her everything, and she will do anything to protect her.”

Tom’s ex-wife, however, is an unwanted presence in Anna’s world. Much to Anna’s chagrin, Rachel still texts Tom, and Anna suspects the frequent hang-up calls in the middle of the night are also from his former spouse. “Anna is living a life that she dreams of, but not feeling that she can control it,” Ferguson adds. “Rachel is a threat, but Anna will do anything to hide that and live the life of the perfect suburban housewife.”

Even though their characters begin the film as mortal enemies, there was nothing but love from Blunt toward Ferguson. She lauds: “Rebecca has the most beautiful, expressive face, and she’s able to reveal so much with so little. I’m thrilled she was cast as Anna because that could easily have been a derivative part—the new blonde wife in a cashmere sweater who’s the perfect mother. Rebecca brought a lot of the struggle of that life of being a stay-at-home mom.”

Now playing across the Philippines, “The Girl on the Train” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Emily Blunt has depression, delusions in ‘The Girl on the Train’

Once it was announced that DreamWorks Pictures was casting “The Girl on the Train,” the film adaptation of the Paula Hawkins’ runaway best-selling novel, the role of Rachel Watson became a much-sought-after part. As there are not scores of enviable female-leading roles in Hollywood that represent fully developed and complex characters like Rachel, the calls for consideration were coming in all over. When the dust settled, only one name rose to the top: Emily Blunt.

The Golden Globe Award-winning actress’ versatility has shone in a wide range of roles in such films as the comedy The Devil Wears Prada and the drama The Young Victoria to actioners including Edge of Tomorrow and Sicario. “Emily has tremendous skill as an actor, and she was our first choice,” lauds producer Marc Platt, who had previously worked with Blunt on the adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Into the Woods. “We felt that she not only had the skill required, but in all of her characters, there’s something innately relatable. Rachel is very hard on herself, drinks heavily and is destructive in her behavior. Emily has the ability to play all those colors and complexities and darkness but still remain likable, understandable and accessible.”

Author Paula Hawkins professed her excitement for the casting, noting, “Emily couldn’t be more perfect,” and Blunt’s director had nothing but raves as well. “She is Rachel in a stunning way,” lauds director Tate Taylor. Even though the story’s setting has moved across the pond, Taylor insisted that the British performer keep her accent. “It added to the loneliness and isolationism to have a person from the U.K. stuck without a life or a husband in America, and Emily pulls it off fabulously. Audiences will be blown away by her performance.”

In the film, Rachel, who is devastated by her recent divorce, spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day, until one morning she sees something shocking happen there and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds.

Blunt first became aware of the phenomenon that was “The Girl on the Train” through her sister, Felicity, who is a literary agent. “She told me, ‘This book is selling like quick fire.’ I’d go into any airport or bookstore and saw that it was the No. 1 bestseller. I could see people reading it on the subway and on airplanes. So I was aware of the tsunami of interest before I was approached by the producers. When they asked if I was interested in coming in, that’s when I read the book. And I read it in two days.”

The performer admits that she was struck by just how visceral she found the thriller to be, and grew further impressed with screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson’s work on the script about this “delusional Nancy Drew character,” as she puts it. “I loved seeing the screenplay capture Rachel’s intensity, and the fact that it is told in a sort of blurry sense…because the lead character is an alcoholic and the most unreliable witness to a crime.

“I was fascinated by how they were filmically going to capture that sense of addiction and voyeurism,” Blunt continues, “what we think we see and don’t, what we think we remember and don’t…and the blurry lines between all of those aspects.” In fact, that commitment to unexpected narrative sold her on the story and the film. “What I loved about the book and about the script is that they articulately managed to depict broken, damaged women. You don’t see that in cinema very often, as women are often held in a male ideal. Both the book and the film strive away from that.”

Blunt is the first to admit that, no matter the genre or motivation, she’ll only approach characters that have an unexpected depth. “All you want is to try and understand the people you play. As the onion unravels with Rachel, you quickly realize she has a drinking problem and is incredibly untethered and unstable,” she shares.

“Rachel’s riddled with guilt, loneliness and desperation, as well as the need for love and connection, and she finds a great deal of comfort and solace in the people she obsesses over. They seem like a match made in heaven, and they know a love she no longer has in her life,” concludes Blunt. “I have huge empathy for her.”

Opening across the Philippines on October 5, 2016, “The Girl on the Train” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

Luke Evans, Justin Theroux, Edgar Ramirez star in ‘The Girl on the Train’

Luke Evans (“Fast & Furious” franchise), Justin Theroux (“The Leftovers”) and Edgar Ramirez (“Deliver Us from Evil”) provide the masculine presence in the female-centric tale, “The Girl on the Train” from Paramount Pictures. The film also stars Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson and Haley Bennett.

Based on Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel, “The Girl on the Train” is directed by Tate Taylor (“The Help”) and adapted for the screen by Erin Cressida Wilson. In the film, Rachel (Blunt), who is devastated by her recent divorce, spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day, until one morning she sees something shocking happen there and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds.

To cast the two key male roles was just as crucial, according to producer Marc Platt. “It’s interesting to be involved in a film that’s so female-centric,” he says. “Usually, it’s the guys who are more complicated and then there’s the ‘girl’ role, and our challenge here was to develop characters that wouldn’t just be the ‘boy’ role in a film about the women. The story is also very much about the men.”

To play the role of Tom, a father caught between his new wife and an ex who is deteriorating into the madness of addiction, the filmmakers cast Justin Theroux, who can currently be seen starring in the hit series “The Leftovers.”

For Theroux, “The Girl on the Train” is all about appearances. He describes: “It’s set in this suburban place, just upstate, just outside of the city. So there is that picket-fence element to it, and wondering what’s behind those perfect little shutters and curtains.” For a passenger peering into the homes she passes by, however, the view becomes more intimate. “There’s something about looking into people’s backyards that is almost more invasive. You are literally seeing their dirty laundry hanging out in the back; you’re not seeing what’s presented in the front.”

The actor hits upon a theme that readers of Hawkins’ work frequently note: The main character’s addiction adds a curious element to Rachel’s trustworthiness. “It’s not a thriller in the traditional sense,” says Theroux. “It’s seen through the lens of a human problem. No one believes the least reliable witness: Rachel.”

For the role of Scott, the second object of Rachel’s obsession, the filmmakers cast Luke Evans, who is known for roles in “The Hobbit” series, as well as the “Fast & Furious” franchise.

Evans admits he became quite the fan of the complex characters in Hawkins’ novel, one he found to be a gripping page-turner. “When I began the book, I didn’t want to put it down,” he gives. “I’m not surprised it’s done as well as it has. The whole story is about an inquisitive human being who creates chaos because of her curiosity, and it’s enthralling.”

The Welsh performer found Rachel’s obsessions fascinating, and he quickly agreed to portray one of the key figures who populate her world. He describes Scott as a man who’s in a tempestuous relationship with Megan (Haley Bennett), and a jealous husband who inevitably becomes a suspect when she disappears. “He’s questioning a lot about himself and about the women in his life, and how they’ve treated him,” the actor says. “So there’s a lot of anger and mistrust.”

Rachel’s need to find out what happened to Megan leads her to visit the missing woman’s psychiatrist, Dr. Kamal Abdic, whom Rachel—and the cops—suspects may have been involved in her disappearance. As the story unfolds, we learn that the relationship between Abdic and Megan was much more than doctor and patient. “There is this wonderful cat-and-mouse quality to what happens between Megan and her doctor,” says Bennett. “She is a lonely, broken woman who lures him in. He takes the bait.”

To play Dr. Abdic, the filmmakers cast Édgar Ramírez, known for his roles in such films as “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Deliver Us from Evil.”

“Kamal Abdic is a man of few words,” offers Ramírez. “He loves to listen to these women because he is also fascinated, or a little turned on, by their despair. He listens to all their stories, but he genuinely falls in love with Megan. There’s a special sense of innocence in her, and he knows that she uses sex as a way to connect.”

Initially posing as a patient to learn what she can about Abdic, Rachel opens up to the doctor, revealing more than she ever intended. She describes her heartbreak at not being unable to have a child, subsequent divorce and alcohol-induced blackouts. “Abdic is the only one who listens to the secrets,” the Venezuelan actor adds. However, he pays the price for crossing the line with his patients. “He knows everything about what’s going on, and ironically, is the first one who becomes a suspect.” He pauses, “We cross lines because we feel lonely, and we are longing for connection.”

Opening across the Philippines on October 5, 2016, “The Girl on the Train” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

‘The Girl on the Train’ – from best-selling novel to movie

Based on author Paula Hawkins’ best-selling novel, the thriller that has riveted millions now makes its way to the big screen in DreamWorks Pictures’ provocative tale, “The Girl on the Train.” Emily Blunt leads the all-star cast which includes Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Edgar Ramirez and Lisa Kudrow, under the direction of Tate Taylor (“The Help”).

Although former journalist Paula Hawkins had previously written several books as an author for hire, “The Girl on the Train” was the first novel released under her own name. After its publication in January 2015, Hawkins’ story became one of the fastest-selling novels in history, with more than 15 million copies sold globally. In its first week, “The Girl on the Train” landed in the top spot of The New York Times Best Sellers List. In fact, it remained on the list for more than a year, spending much of that time at No. 1. In 2015, it became Amazon’s Best Seller in Books, Most Wished for in Books, as well as its Best Seller in eBooks, while Hawkins was lauded by USA Today as Author of the Year.

The inspiration for her gripping whodunit of witnesses who become suspects was inspired by Hawkins’ daily experiences on the commuter rail through London. “There was one particular route where the train was always breaking down, and I would sit and look into these apartment blocks, and you could see right into someone’s living room,” she recounts. “I was always hoping I’d see something interesting, although I never did. But it started my imagination going, and that’s where the germ of the story came from.”

Told from the perspective of three women, the book’s primary narrator is Rachel, a thirtysomething commuter on British Rail whose life is a wreck after a failed marriage. While her drinking cost Rachel her job, she continues to take the train into the city, in order to give the impression to her roommate she’s still working. But Rachel also enjoys obsessing upon the lives of others, while furtively sipping liquor from a water bottle.

In Hawkins’ tale, Rachel’s plunge into the depths of alcoholism clouds her memories. It also fuels her growing paranoia when her investigation into someone’s disappearance points to the chance that she may have been involved. “That’s when we start to discover that Rachel isn’t particularly reliable at all, and she’s got all these problems that suck her into the story,” says Hawkins. “Her memory loss is key to her sense of who she’s become. She has a twisted sense of guilt and responsibility because she doesn’t remember her actions.” Still Hawkins advises, her protagonist is strong underneath the drama. “Over the course of the book, we see her fight back.”

Producer Marc Platt describes why he knew Hawkins’ novel would be perfect material for a filmic adaptation: “It had genre elements of a thriller, and yet it felt contemporary, full of interesting, flawed characters. We’re all a bit voyeuristic, so the notion of riding a train every day and being one of the people in the crowd, and observing a life—and then all of sudden seeing something wrong in that view—is very Hitchcockian, very Rear Window, which is a great hook.”

But to Platt—and the millions of other readers who continue to devour Hawkins’ story—the book is so much more than a tantalizing, sexually charged mystery. “In addition to having thrills, it’s a satisfying character journey,” he states. “Ultimately, it’s about a character who renews herself and repairs her brokenness.”

Platt understood the translation from book to script would be a challenging one indeed. “[Screenwriter] Erin Cressida Wilson’s take on the material was interesting, and she delivered,” he commends. “It is very much taken from the book, so fans will be satisfied, but Erin also found a way to enhance and embellish elements to make the language of it even more cinematic…yet retain the integrity of the source.”

As the screenwriter adapted Hawkins’ work, she felt that the author hit something in the zeitgeist about what makes us all so very human. “With longing, your lover never lets you down by being boring; they’re whatever you make them up to be,” reflects Wilson. “Rachel’s longing for the perfect lives of the young couple she sees from the train is something many can relate to, especially with the rise of social media, where everyone’s family is beautiful and always happy. We look at people’s relationships and think they’re perfect.” She pauses. “But there are so many things we just don’t see.”

Opening across the Philippines on October 5, 2016, “The Girl on the Train” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

‘The Girl on the Train’ peeks through window in new poster

Emily Blunt’s character, Rachel, gazes out the window from her seat on the train in the newly released poster art from DreamWorks Pictures’ and Universal Pictures’ “The Girl on the Train.”

The tagline asks ominously, “What Did She See?”

A powerhouse cast led by Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Edgar Ramirez and Lisa Kudrow stars in “The Girl on the Train.”

the girl on the train movie

Based on Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel that shocked the world, “The Girl on the Train” is directed by Tate Taylor (“The Help”) and adapted for the screen by Erin Cressida Wilson.

In the thriller, Rachel (Blunt), who is devastated by her recent divorce, spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day, until one morning she sees something shocking happen there and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds.

The film is produced by Marc Platt (“Bridge of Spies,” “Into the Woods”); the executive producers are Jared LeBoff and Celia Costas.

Opening across the Philippines on October 5, 2016, “The Girl on the Train” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.

WATCH: Murder mystery ‘The Girl on the Train’ reveals first trailer

A powerhouse cast led by Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Edgar Ramirez and Lisa Kudrow stars in DreamWorks Pictures’ and Universal Pictures’ “The Girl on the Train.” Watch the film’s first trailer here below.

Based on Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel, “The Girl on the Train” is directed by Tate Taylor (“The Help”) and adapted for the screen by Erin Cressida Wilson.

In the thriller, Rachel (Blunt), who is devastated by her recent divorce, spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day, until one morning she sees something shocking happen there and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds.

The film is produced by Marc Platt (“Bridge of Spies,” “Into the Woods”); the executive producers are Jared LeBoff and Celia Costas.

Opening across the Philippines on October 5, 2016, “The Girl on the Train” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.