August 17, 1994 |
Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, U.S.
Taissa Farmiga (/ /; born August 17, 1994) is an American actress. She made her acting debut as Corinne Walker in the 2011 drama film Higher Ground. Later that year, she came to prominence playing Violet Harmon in American Horror Story: Murder House, the first season of FX's anthology series. She then starred as Sam Moore in the satirical crime film The Bling Ring (2013), Zoe Benson in American Horror Story: Coven (2013–14), and Anna Greene in the psychological thriller Mindscape (2013). Farmiga will star in the upcoming drama 6 Years (2015), and the horror comedy The Final Girls (2015).
Farmiga was born and raised in the Whitehouse Station section of Readington Township in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. She is the youngest of seven children born to Ukrainian immigrants Luba (née Spas; born 1949), a former schoolteacher, and Michael Farmiga (born 1942), a computer systems analyst. Her maternal grandparents, Nadia (née Pletenciw; 1925–2014) and Theodor Spas (1921–90), emigrated to the United States in 1950 when her mother was an infant. Her six older siblings are: Victor (born 1972), Vera (born 1973), Stephan (born 1975), Nadia (born 1977), Alexander (born 1988), and Laryssa (born 1991), who has spina bifida. Her family follows the Pentecostal faith. Farmiga attended public school until fourth grade, when her mother began homeschooling her along with two of her siblings. She was an advanced student and took American Sign Language classes for three years. Her cousin is visual artist Adriana Farmiga.
2011–14: Beginnings and American Horror Story
In June 2010, Farmiga was persuaded to appear in her sister Vera Farmiga's directorial debut Higher Ground, playing the 16-year-old version of Corinne Walker, the lead character. The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2011, and Farmiga's portrayal of the teenaged Corinne received praise from film critics. Prior to this, she had no ambitions to work in the industry, stating that her only acting experience had been in a fourth grade school play. In May 2011, she was cast in the first season of the FX anthology series American Horror Story, which launched Farmiga to worldwide prominence. She portrayed Violet Harmon, the strong but troubled adolescent daughter of Vivien (Connie Britton) and Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott). Farmiga secured the role of Violet in her first professional acting audition. American Horror Story: Murder House premiered on October 5, 2011, and was met with acclaim by television critics. In March 2012, Farmiga joined the cast of Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, based on the Hollywood Hills burglaries in 2008 and 2009. She portrayed Sam Moore, a wild child teenager characterized after Tess Taylor. The film opened the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival on June 15, 2013 to generally positive reviews.
In June 2012, it was announced that Farmiga had signed on to star as Audrey Martin in the independent romantic comedy At Middleton, also starring her sister. The film premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival on May 17, 2013, and was released in theaters on January 31, 2014. In February 2013, it was reported that Farmiga would be returning to American Horror Story for the third season of the series. Farmiga played the role of Zoe Benson, a young witch with a dark power. American Horror Story: Coven premiered on October 9, 2013. The Huffington Post said of Farmiga's performance: "Farmiga effortlessly plays the mix of innocence, sardonic wit and tragedy required to make her character work."
Farmiga had her first starring role as Anna Greene in the psychological thriller film Mindscape (also known as Anna), directed by Jorge Dorado. The world premiere was held at the 46th Sitges Film Festival on October 13, 2013, and the film was released in the United States on June 6, 2014. Farmiga's performance was met with acclaim from film critics; Jason Coleman of Starpulse.com wrote: "It's the vulnerable, delicate and captivating work by young Taissa Farmiga that gives the film its inner life. Her Anna has a rich and soulful presence while still giving off the authenticity of being a teenager." Farmiga next starred as Sarah, a small town girl and the main character's love interest, in the crime drama Jamesy Boy. The film was released through video on demand on January 3, 2014, and in select theaters on January 17, 2014.
2014–present: Focus on film
In February 2014, Dread Central reported that Farmiga had signed on for the lead role in the horror comedy The Final Girls, opposite Malin Åkerman. Farmiga portrays Max, the daughter of a 1980s scream queen who is transported into her mom's most famous horror movie. The film will have its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 13, 2015. In June 2014, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Farmiga had completed filming on Hannah Fidell's romantic drama film 6 Years, portraying the main role of Melanie "Mel" Clark, opposite Ben Rosenfield and Joshua Leonard. The film will have its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 14, 2015. Farmiga then filmed a leading role in Pippa Bianco's short drama film Share, alongside Keir Gilchrist. Farmiga portrays Krystal, a high school student who returns to school after an explicit video of her goes viral. The film will also premiere at South by Southwest on March 14, 2015, and will screen at the Directors Guild of America on April 30, 2015.
In May 2014, it was reported that Farmiga had joined the ensemble cast of Warren Beatty's untitled Howard Hughes project, opposite Alden Ehrenreich and Lily Collins. The film focuses on the "trials and tribulations of 1950s Hollywood" and is set for release on May 21, 2015. On May 22, 2014, it was announced that Farmiga had been cast in Ti West's 1890s Western film In a Valley of Violence, also starring Ethan Hawke and John Travolta. The film is set for release on December 4, 2015. In August 2014, Deadline reported that Farmiga had been cast as Claire Clairmont in the upcoming Mary Shelley biopic Mary Shelley's Monster, directed by Coky Giedroyc. She will star alongside Sophie Turner and Jeremy Irvine. On February 25, 2015, it was announced that Farmiga will star in ABC's upcoming crime drama pilot L.A. Crime.
Farmiga's older sister is Academy Award-nominated actress Vera Farmiga. The two consider each other best friends. In an August 2013 interview with the siblings, Vera said: "As much of an age difference as there is, she is one of my best friends in the world." In a subsequent interview, Vera stated: "Taissa, whom I love like a daughter. She is my daughter; she's my surrogate daughter. I'd like to think that I've been a pretty significant role model in her life." During a Reddit Q&A session in March 2014, Taissa discussed their multi-layered relationship, saying: "Vera is 21 years older than me. She's my cool older sister and, when needed, protective mother figure. Our relationship has so many sides to it." For starring in her sister's directorial debut, Farmiga was given a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck as payment. Through her sister's second marriage, Farmiga is the sister-in-law of musician and film producer Renn Hawkey, and the co-sister-in-law of actress and photographer Molly Hawkey. From 1997 to 2005, she was the sister-in-law of French actor Sebastian Roché. Farmiga can play the guitar, and is bilingual: able to speak both English and Ukrainian fluently.
Farmiga has appeared in many popular magazines, such as Elle, Lucky, Nylon, Interview, Muse, Marie Claire, Complex, and Rolling Stone. In 2012, she was photographed by Drew Barrymore for Drew's Angels, a feature in the American magazine publication V. Barrymore shot Hollywood's up-and-coming actresses, which, along with Farmiga, included Victoria Justice, Isabelle Fuhrman and Haley Bennett. In December 2012, Farmiga modeled in Teen Vogue for the launch of designer Jason Wu's clothing line, Miss Wu.
|2011||Higher Ground||Corinne Walker|
|2011||American Horror Story: Murder House||Violet Harmon||Main role (11 episodes)|
|2013||The Bling Ring||Sam Moore|
|2013||At Middleton||Audrey Martin|
|2013–14||American Horror Story: Coven||Zoe Benson||Main role (13 episodes)|
|2015||The Final Girls||Max||Completed|
|2015||Share||Krystal||Short film; completed|
|2015||6 Years||Melanie Clark||Completed|
|2015||Untitled Warren Beatty project||Sarah||In post-production|
|2015||In a Valley of Violence||Mary Anne||In post-production|
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(Vera) Farmiga also has a disabled sister whom she cares for.
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Taissa took American Sign Language classes for three years with her homeschool group and was an advanced student. She was part of a signing group called Signs of Hope.
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