Mission Impossible
Ilsa Faust
Name: Ilsa Faust
Status: Alive
Role: Ally
Age: 34 (2017[1])
Date of birth: October 19, 1983
Birthplace: United Kingdom
Nationality: Flag of the United Kingdom.png British
Residence(s): United Kingdom
Affiliation: Impossible Mission Force
The Syndicate (formerly)
MI6 (formerly)
Profession: Intelligence operative
Rank: Agent
Expertise: High intelligence
Genius-level intellect
Great physical strength
High durability
High speed level
Greats reflexes
Agility skills
Master martial artist
Great motorcycle driving skills
Great swimmer
Marital status: Single
Significant other(s): Love Interests:
Ethan Hunt
Played by: Rebecca Ferguson
First appearance: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Last appearance: Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two
If you want to bring down the Syndicate, you have to let me out.

–Ilsa talks to Ethan about defeating the Syndicate, before dropping her off, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

Ilsa Faust (born October 19, 1983) is the deuteragonist in the 2015 action/thriller film Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and one of the main protagonists in its sequels, Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018), Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (2023), and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two (2024).

She is a former British intelligence operative employed by MI6 who worked for a criminal organization known as The Syndicate as a cover assassin before helping Ethan Hunt and his team of the Impossible Mission Force to fight her former colleagues.


Early Life[]

Ilsa's early life is unknown other than being born in October 19th, 1983. She was later recruited and trained by MI6 as a highly trained agent. During her time as an MI6 agent, her handler was Chief Atlee.

Some point around 2013, she went undercover as a spy for MI6 by joining the Syndicate, a former British project consisted of former covert operatives from around the globe recruited onto clandestine operations before Solomon Lane, a rogue MI6 agent, hijacked and turned it into an international terrorist organization.

Meeting Ethan Hunt for the first time[]

In 2015, after agent of the Impossible Mission Force, Ethan Hunt, was captured by the Syndicate in London, Ilsa Faust is sent to question him while being held captive by terrorists, including Janik Vinter. She enters the room where the American is imprisoned and prepares the medicine, takes off her shoes and observes the man silently. Vinter and his cohorts then joint them and Janik brutally beats Ethan, and the latter tells Vinter that he knows who he is. The criminal operative then prepares to torture him with various butchering tools, but Ilsa distracts him long enough to allow Ethan to kicks him unconscious. Then, Ilsa throws the keys to Ethan, but the other minions attack her and she fights them, helped by Ethan, once released. The exceptional skills of the pair allows them to neutralize and kill all enemies, but they must flee the place before the arrival of reinforcements. However, considering that she cannot escape with Ethan, Ilsa invites him to go alone and returns to Vinter, telling him that Ethan killed the guards alone and that she tried to stop him. Nevertheless, it will have allowed the protagonist to flee and continue his investigation onto the Syndicate.

Assassination at the Opera[]

Six months later, Ilsa is tasked by the Syndicate to assassinate the Chancellor of Austria at the Vienna Opera House, Austria, in order to demonstrate her loyalty to the organization. However, Solomon Lane, the head of the Syndicate, also sends two other agents, Richter and Kagan, one to kill the chancellor and the second to kill her if she does not fulfill her mission.

Seeping off behind the scenes of the full-fledged institution, Ilsa hides in the decoration pieces above the stage and prepares her sniper rifle (disguised as a musical instrument), all assisted by Ethan, who is here with his colleague Benji Dunn in the hope of identifying Lane (whose name he still does not know). They then wait for a high note during a song to be able to shoot without being detected. However, Ethan, who killed Kagan, thwarts her attempt by shooting the Chancellor in the shoulder as she fired. Realizing what Hunt did, Ilsa tries to kill him while Richter prepares to execute her from the control room for her failure. Benji saves Ilsa unknowingly and fights the criminal before Ilsa kills him. Believing she has it after him, Benji reveals her position with the searchlight, forcing her to try to flee while the building is surrounded by police. Ethan finds her and offers her a way out. The two then climb on the roof and they go downstairs with a rope. Unfortunately, the chancellor is then killed in his car by a suitcase bomb. Benji then drives Ethan and Ilsa in a car and they escape. However, Ilsa insists that the Americans let her go and by searching, Ethan finds her lipstick while questioning him. As they are pursued by other agents of the Syndicate, Ilsa convinces them to let her go and disguise this on the run.

Ilsa is brought to Solomon Lane by his men. She is pushed by a henchman and she jumps on him and immobilizes him before taking his weapon. Lane questions her, because Ethan escaped her twice and she failed at the opera. He then throws the gun at him and tells him to trust or kill her but he should do it himself instead of his killer. Lane takes the weapon but finally pulls the trigger on the henchman and asks him how she would find Ethan. Ilsa mentions that Ethan will come to see her while she has information about Morocco in a USB key hidden in her lipstick.

Stealing The Ledger[]

Ilsa travels to Casablanca, Morocco, leaving tracks for Benji and Ethan, and stays in a house in Morocco where she trains to stay underwater. The next day, she is visited by Ethan and Benji, where she explains that Lane was a former British intelligence agent and that the Syndicate was created by them. Lane had a ledger containing information about the Syndicate that had been stolen by an agent who was hoping to blackmail him. The agent died during the interrogation and the registry can only be retrieved from a secure server room under a power plant by modifying the access control data stored in an underwater turbine tank. Ilsa was sent by Lane to do it. The three design a plan to steal the ledger in which Ethan will go underwater without oxygen tanks to avoid detection and change access profile so that Benji can access the server and steal the ledger. They succeed, but Ethan cannot open the service hatch to exit. She follows him and saves him as he faints from lack of oxygen. She opens the hatch and takes Ethan to safety. She reanimates him using a defibrillator. Benji arrives with the ledger and mentions that he misjudged her. She electrocuted Benji and escaped with the ledger. Syndicate agents wait for her to accompany her with motorcycles. She toppled them with her motorcycle and fled. During the chase, Ethan follows her and takes the agents. Ilsa stops and suddenly passes in front of Ethan to make him crash to avoid colliding her. She then escapes with the ledger.

After leaving Morocco, Ilsa meets Chief Atlee in London and gives him the big book. However, he says it could be wrong and she should continue to work with Lane to find more evidence. Atlee blames her for compromising her position while saving Hunt and that next time she should kill him. Ilsa refuses, but he threatens her by telling her that only a few people know that she is undercover and that she must obey him.

Unbeknownst to Ilsa, Atlee erases all the files from the disc when she places her phone under the newspapers.

Ilsa meets Lane and gives him the ledger. Calling himself a terrorist, he explains that the Syndicate will be able to counter threats with surgical precision and make the world a better place. The ledger turns out to be empty and Lane orders her to take the ledger from Ethan and his team.

Stopping Solomon Lane[]

While meeting Ethan, he reveals to her that the disc was real and he wanted her to free herself from Lane and MI6. They realize that Atlee has erased her version. Ilsa offers Ethan with three options; go to the CIA, let her go with the record to Solomon or run away with her. Ethan realizes she was going to send him a message. Ilsa warns him that she can no longer save his life, then activates her phone and jams their communications. Benji is kidnapped and she runs away from the scene. Lane uses Benji to force Ethan to activate the general ledger. This will allow the Syndicate to access huge funds to keep them running for decades.

Ilsa is sent by Lane to exchange Benji for the ledger assets. A bomb is attached to Benji's chest. They explained to Ethan that she would kill him and Benji after the trade or Lane would blow them up.

Ethan reveals that the ledger was destroyed and he had memorized the bank accounts. Lane is forced to disarm the bomb and orders his men to kill Ilsa and capture Ethan alive. The two eliminate several pursuing agents of the Syndicate, but end up being separated and without bullets. Ilsa is pursued by Vinter and she tries to make a sneak attack, but it fails and both find themselves in a knife fight. Both are injured, but Ilsa is able to climb on him and impale his chest, killing him.

Ethan and his team ended up capturing Lane. Ilsa and Ethan share a moment and Ilsa leaves after telling him he knew how to find her, assuming they would meet again.

Meeting Ethan Hunt again[]

Two years later, Ilsa is sent by MI6 to Paris, France, where she saves Ethan's life while fighting with a fake John Lark who is shot in the head by the British, although she aimed at his chest. When Ethan asks why she is there when he cannot contact her, she says she cannot tell him and warns him of the possibility of being murdered if he insists on meeting White Widow as John Lark, as some paid assassins and contract killers are hired to kill "John Lark". She helps Ethan escort White Widow from the Grand Palais and escapes afterwards.

Capturing Solomon Lane[]

White Widow finally charges Ethan and his team to release Solomon Lane for unknown purposes in exchange for obtaining the plutonium they want and which the Apostles has taken possession of. Ilsa is responsible for killing Lane to prove her own loyalty and follows an armored prisoner convoy transporting the anarchist to an unknown location, but he is apprehended by Ethan and his team. Chasing Ethan and Lane on a motorcycle, Ilsa tries to kill Lane, but misses it as Ethan runs over her.

Later, she finally meets Ethan and reveals her mission: to kill Lane so that she can restore her nationality and the confidence of her government. Her priority is to protect "John Lark" so that she can save and kill Lane after "John Lark" saved the anarchist, but she could not do it because she wanted to save Ethan. She asks Ethan to reveal where Lane was, because she had to do her job.

In the end, it is actually a plan to identify and capture the real John Lark, which is CIA agent August Walker. She follows the team and helps in the ensuing firefight against the Apostles, who disguised themselves as CIA agents. As Ethan and his team finally let Lane and Walker escape, it is actually a plan to let them go and uncover their plan. While talking about the plan and the schematics of the bombs, Luther Stickell explains that there are only two women Ethan cares very much; Julia Meade-Hunt, his ex-wife, and Ilsa herself. Luther asks her to leave, but instead she comes with Ethan to help him whenever he needs it and officially rejoins his IMF team.

Stopping Lane and Walker[]

Thanks to a tracer implanted by Luther in Lane during the previous confrontation against the Apostles, the team manages to trace Lane himself and Walker in Kashmir, where they realize that their plan is to radiate the Nubra River with a nuclear explosion, in which the river constituted the system of natural irrigation of the world, in order to starve 1/3 of the world population; Ethan and Luther quoting the manifesto of Lark/Walker. There, Ilsa finally meets Julia and helps the team find and defuse the bombs. She and Benji then go and find the other bomb, while Luther prepares to defuse the bomb and Julia finally comes to help him.

Ilsa and Benji are looking for the other bomb in the medical camp, but she quickly realizes they are looking in the wrong place. She then leaves the camp and sees Lane standing on the balcony of a house near the village and goes after him, convinced that he is staying with the bomb. Once in the cabin, Ilsa locates the bomb, but before she can inform Benji, Lane suddenly appears and hits her unconscious. While she is unconscious, the terrorist ties her to a chair and when she wakes up, he is about to ambush Benji who came to help Ilsa. She tries to warn Benji, but he does not understand what she says because of her gag and Lane brutally attacks Benji before hanging him up and Ilsa is forced to watch him die. She quickly frees herself and fights Lane with help from Benji. Finally, she gains an upper hand on Lane with her agility and renders him unconscious with the rope he used to tie her up. She and Benji proceed to defuse the bomb in time while a tied up Lane taunts them. In the end, the team succeeds and saves the world.

Now that Lane is delivered to MI6, Ilsa regains her freedom and she joins the rest of her team in victory.



Ilsa Faust is a disciplined and strong-willed woman. Bound by a moral code and sense of duty, she goes in deep cover to take down the Syndicate. When Ethan is about to be killed, she risks her life and blows her cover to help him escape.

During the events, she constantly seems to struggle between her loyalty towards MI6, her desire to do the right thing, her feelings for Ethan and keeping her cover for the Syndicate. She saves Ethan's life multiple times, but has no problems of manipulating or betraying him to fulfill her mission for MI6 and the Syndicate.

Saving his life and, using subtle manipulation, she keeps Ethan off balance and uses his curiosity about her to deceive him and makes him do what she wants. This went as far as that she forced him to lose control of his motorcycle and crash to avoid running her over. During the opera, she even tried to kill him when he stopped her assassination attempt - though it is unclear that she knew it was Ethan. At a certain point, she was touched by Ethan himself who was trying to help her and she even offered to leave together and leave the intelligence world behind.

Ilsa is also a very courageous woman and shows it several times, especially when she encourages Lane to kill her. That implies that Ilsa is either not afraid of death or she knew he would not kill her.


Ilsa uses her thighs to kill a Syndicate operative.
My aesthetic is Ilsa Faust flipping her hair after breaking a man’s neck with her thighs.

–Rebecca Ferguson

  • Expert Martial Artist: As an MI6 operative, she is a skilled martial artist because she uses a unique fighting style, relying on her feline agility and use of momentum and incorporating methods from Taekwondo, Muay Thai, Hapkido and especially Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. In combat, Ilsa moves graceful and yet ruthless, moving in as fast as she could, using powerful movements to build up momentum to create maximum effect. Highly creative, Ilsa was also seen using various unorthodox striking methods, including elbow drops and headbutting a gun out of an attacker's hand. Her signature fighting movement consists of leaping or climbing onto her opponent and wrapping her legs around their head, shoulders or waist. She then twists her body and uses the momentum to knock them off balance and flick them to the floor. She was also able to kill a man by wrapping her thighs around and snap his neck.
  • Skilled Assassin: As a highly trained MI6 operative, Ilsa Faust is a skilled assassin.
  • Expert Marksman: As a skilled assassin, she is an expert in the use of firearms, ranging from handguns to sniper and assault rifles.
  • Skilled Swimmer: She is an exceptional swimmer and can hold her breath for minutes while swimming underwater.
  • Skilled Driver: Ilsa is also a proficient driver and she was able to stay ahead of Ethan and Syndicate agents in a motorcycle chase.
  • Skilled Tactician: Always preparing for the worst, Ilsa has deep tactical awareness and constantly positions herself at dominant angles and with her near (improvised) weapons. While preparing to fight in the torture chamber, she already removed her shoes and unbuttoned her blouse to avoid hindrance. Her tactical savvy is further shown by her choice of clothing, wearing a dress with a deep split which allows her to infiltrate the opera, while still being able to climb, fight and run without any difficulty. She was also carrying hidden knives in her possession while wearing the dress.


Behind the Scenes[]

Ilsa Faust is portrayed by Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part Two.



  1. It is said in Mission: Impossible – Fallout that the story takes place two years after Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, who takes place in 2015.