August 17, 1994 |
Whitehouse Station, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. U.S.
|Relatives||Vera Farmiga (sister)
Renn Hawkey (brother-in-law)
Taissa Farmiga (/ /; born August 17, 1994) is an American actress. She made her acting debut in the 2011 drama Higher Ground, directed by her sister. Later that year, she came to prominence playing Violet Harmon in American Horror Story: Murder House, the first season of FX's anthology series. In 2013, she starred in Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring as Sam Moore, and returned to American Horror Story for its third season, Coven, portraying young witch Zoe Benson. In 2014, she appeared as Anna Greene in the psychological thriller Mindscape. In 2015, she will star in the relationship drama 6 Years, the horror comedy The Final Girls, and the Western action In a Valley of Violence.
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 Lubomyra "Luba" (née Spas), a former schoolteacher, and Mykhailo "Michael" Farmiga, a computer systems analyst. 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. She is bilingual: able to speak both English and Ukrainian fluently.
2011–14: Breakthrough and American Horror Story
Farmiga initially had no ambitions to become an actress, stating: "I never wanted to be an actor. Acting had always been Vera's thing, not mine, but when we were at Sundance, I decided I officially loved acting." In June 2010, she was persuaded to appear in her sister Vera Farmiga's directorial debut Higher Ground, playing the role of Teenage Corinne Walker, the 16-year-old version of her sister's character. Farmiga stated that the only acting experience she had prior to this was a role in a fourth grade school play. After her performance in the film was acclaimed by film critics at the Sundance Film Festival, she decided to pursue an acting career. 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 adolescent daughter of Vivien (Connie Britton) and Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott). Farmiga said that she loved Violet "immediately" and that "she had spunk to her, she had attitude." American Horror Story: Murder House premiered on October 5, 2011, and was met with critical acclaim by television critics. In March 2012, she joined the cast of Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, portraying Sam Moore (based on Tess Taylor), the wild child of the group and Nicki's (Emma Watson) adoptive sister. 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 in the independent romantic comedy film At Middleton, also featuring her older sister. Vera Farmiga said that the film was an opportunity to share the screen with her real-life sister for the first time, stating: "This film is the first time we were on camera together and had the give-and-take of a scene. We felt comfortable. We've had a lot of practice. The first time we read a scene together is when I put her on tape for the first season of American Horror Story. By that time, she was used to taking direction." 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 who is forced to go to a special school in New Orleans after she discovers her magical powers in a horrific way. 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."
2014–present: Focus on film
In March 2012, Farmiga signed on for a supporting role in the crime drama Jamesy Boy. She portrayed Sarah, the main character's love interest. The film was released through video on demand on January 3, 2014, and in select theaters on January 17, 2014. Farmiga had her first starring role as Anna Greene in the psychological thriller film Mindscape, directed by Jorge Dorado and produced by Jaume Collet-Serra. Farmiga explained her attraction to the project: "When I first read the script I immediately fell in love with Anna, the character. There's always something going on underneath. You never know if what she's saying is what she's really saying. And I loved that and was attracted to the challenge that would be." The world premiere was held at the 46th Sitges Film Festival in October 2013. The film was released in Spanish theaters on January 24, 2014. It had its North American premiere at the Dallas International Film Festival in April 2014, where it was retitled Anna for the American market. The film was then released to select theaters and video on demand providers on June 6, 2014.
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, Alexander Ludwig and Nina Dobrev. Farmiga portrays Max, the daughter of a 1980s scream queen who reunites with her dead mother when she is transported into her mom's most famous horror movie. The film will be released in 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 story follows Paul (Hawke), a drifter with nothing to lose who seeks revenge on the thugs who killed his best friend. Farmiga plays Mary Anne, a young woman who runs the town's hotel with her older sister (Karen Gillan), and helps Paul in his quest for vengeance. The film is set for release on December 4, 2015. On May 27, 2014, it was reported that Farmiga had joined the cast of Warren Beatty's untitled project, opposite Alden Ehrenreich, Lily Collins and Alec Baldwin. The biographical drama is set in the 1950s and follows reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes as he begins an affair with a much younger woman. It is set for release on May 21, 2015.
In June 2014, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Farmiga had finished filming for a main role in Hannah Fidell's upcoming romantic drama film 6 Years, starring opposite Ben Rosenfield. The film follows Melanie and Dan, a young couple about to graduate college when events threaten to tear them apart. The film is set for release in 2015. In late July 2014, Farmiga filmed a leading role for the short drama film Share, alongside Keir Gilchrist. Farmiga portrays Krystal, a 15-year-old girl who has to make difficult decisions when someone shares a sexually explicit video of her online, from a night she doesn't remember. The film will premiere at the American Film Institute Showcase on April 30, 2015. On August 12, 2014, Deadline reported that Farmiga had been cast in the upcoming Mary Shelley biopic Mary Shelley's Monster, directed by Coky Giedroyc. The film has been described as "a story of youth that transcends time, a gothic romance, a love triangle that involves a dark passenger." It follows Shelley as she writes her iconic novel Frankenstein. Farmiga will play the author's stepsister Claire Clairmont, alongside Sophie Turner and Jeremy Irvine.
Farmiga is the younger sister of Academy Award-nominated actress Vera Farmiga. The sisters consider each other their best friends. In an interview with Teen Vogue in 2013, Taissa said that her sister is "my stylist, my everything." Vera feels similarly, stating: "Taissa is the person you take with you to choose your Oscar gown and then take to In-N-Out Burger. As much of an age difference as there is [21 years], she is one of my best friends in the world." Taissa also stated: "When I was growing up, people would always confuse me for Vera's daughter." Vera, in a 2014 interview with Parade magazine, reiterated: "We're best friends, but I like to think I've parented her in a way, too." For starring in Vera's directorial debut, Farmiga was given a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck as payment. Her brother-in-law is musician and film producer Renn Hawkey. From 1997 to 2005, her brother-in-law was French actor Sebastian Roché. Farmiga plays the guitar.
In the media
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, Amandla Stenberg, Haley Bennett, and Maika Monroe. 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|
|2013||The Bling Ring||Sam Moore|
|2013||At Middleton||Audrey Martin|
|2015||The Final Girls||Max||Post-production|
|2015||Share||Krystal||Short film; Post-production|
|2015||Untitled Warren Beatty project||Sarah||Post-production|
|2015||In a Valley of Violence||Mary Anne||Post-production|
|2015||Mary Shelley's Monster||Claire Clairmont||Pre-production|
|2011||American Horror Story: Murder House||Violet Harmon||Main role; 11 episodes|
|2013–14||American Horror Story: Coven||Zoe Benson||Main role; 13 episodes|
Awards and nominations
|2012||PAAFTJ Awards||Best Cast in a Miniseries or TV Movie||American Horror Story: Murder House||Nominated|
|OFTA TV Awards||Best Ensemble in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|2014||Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||American Horror Story: Coven||Nominated|
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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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