Taissa Farmiga

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Taissa Farmiga
Born (1994-08-17) August 17, 1994 (age 20)
Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 2011–present

Taissa Farmiga (/təˈsə fɑrˈmɡə/; 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), Anna Greene in the psychological thriller Mindscape (2013), Melanie Clark in the drama 6 Years (2015), and Max Cartwright in the horror comedy The Final Girls (2015).

Early life and family

Farmiga was born and raised in the Whitehouse Station section of Readington Township in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.[1][2] 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 retired computer systems analyst.[3][4] She has six older siblings: Victor (born 1972),[5] Vera (born 1973),[6] Stephan (born 1975),[7] Nadia (born 1977),[8] Alexander (born 1988),[7] and Laryssa (born 1991),[8] who has spina bifida.[9] Her family converted from the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church to Pentecostal faith before her birth.[10] Farmiga attended public school until fourth grade, when her mother began homeschooling her along with her siblings Alexander and Laryssa.[11] She was an advanced student and took American Sign Language classes for three years.[12]

Farmiga's maternal grandparents, Nadia (née Pletenciw; 1925–2014) and Theodor Spas (1921–90), met at a displaced persons camp in Karlsfeld, Germany during World War II.[7] At the time, Theodor was working as a mechanic for the United States Army. They were married in Munich in 1946, and emigrated to the U.S. in 1950 when Luba was an infant.[7] Farmiga's father was born in Ukraine and raised in Argentina. He was scouted to play professional soccer for the Argentinian national football team, but after suffering knee problems, he moved to the United States.[13] Her paternal cousin is Ukrainian American visual artist Adriana Farmiga.[14]


2011–14: Beginnings and American Horror Story

Farmiga initially had no ambitions to become an actress.[15] In June 2010, she 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.[16][17] 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.[18][19] In May 2011, she was cast in the first season of the FX anthology series American Horror Story, which launched Farmiga to worldwide prominence.[20] She portrayed Violet Harmon, the strong but troubled adolescent daughter of Vivien (Connie Britton) and Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott).[21] Farmiga secured the role of Violet in her first professional acting audition.[20] American Horror Story: Murder House premiered on October 5, 2011, and was met with acclaim from television critics.[22] Farmiga then 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 based on Tess Taylor.[23][24] The film opened the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival on June 15, 2013, to generally positive reviews.[25]

In June 2012, Farmiga signed on to star as Audrey Martin, an uptight 18-year-old touring a college campus, in the independent romantic comedy At Middleton, also starring her sister.[26] On May 17, 2013, the film premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival. Also in 2013, Farmiga returned to American Horror Story for the third season of the series.[27][28] She played the role of Zoe Benson, a young witch with a dark power. American Horror Story: Coven premiered on October 9, 2013 and The Huffington Post said of her performance: "Farmiga effortlessly plays the mix of innocence, sardonic wit and tragedy required to make her character work."[29] Farmiga had her first starring role as Anna Greene in the psychological thriller film Mindscape, directed by Jorge Dorado.[30][31] 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.[32] Farmiga's performance was met with acclaim from critics; Jason Coleman of Starpulse wrote: "It's the vulnerable, delicate and captivating work by young Taissa Farmiga that gives the film its inner life."[32] Farmiga next starred in the supporting role of Sarah, the main character's love interest, in the biographical crime drama Jamesy Boy.[24][33] The film was released in select theaters on January 17, 2014.[34]

2015–present: Focus on film

In March 2015, three of Farmiga's films premiered at South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas. The first, Todd Strauss-Schulson's horror comedy The Final Girls, debuted as one of the opening night films on March 13, 2015.[35] Farmiga played Max Cartwright, the daughter of a 1980s scream queen who is transported into her mom's most famous horror movie.[36] She starred alongside Malin Åkerman and Alexander Ludwig.[37] The second film, Hannah Fidell's relationship drama 6 Years, also featured Ben Rosenfield and Joshua Leonard.[38] Farmiga portrayed Melanie Clark, one half of a young couple whose relationship is put to the test after a series of opportunities and temptations threaten their future. The film premiered on March 14, 2015.[35] The third film, Pippa Bianco's short drama Share, also premiered on March 14, 2015.[39] Farmiga starred as Krystal, a 15-year-old high school student who returns to school after an explicit video of her goes viral.[40]

Farmiga will star as part of an ensemble cast in Warren Beatty's upcoming untitled Howard Hughes project. The film focuses on the "trials and tribulations of 1950s Hollywood" and is expected to be released in 2015.[41] In Ti West's upcoming 1890s revenge Western In a Valley of Violence, Farmiga will portray Mary Anne, a young woman running a small town hotel with her older sister.[42] The film also stars Ethan Hawke and John Travolta, and is set for release on December 4, 2015.[43] Farmiga then joined the cast of the drama biopic Mary Shelley's Monster, playing Mary Shelley's stepsister Claire Clairmont.[44] The film will be directed by Coky Giedroyc and will also star Sophie Turner and Jeremy Irvine.[45] In her return to television, Farmiga has signed on to portray Karen McClaren, an aspiring journalist, in ABC's crime drama pilot L.A. Crime.[46]

Personal life

Farmiga's older sister is Academy Award-nominated actress Vera Farmiga. The two consider each other best friends.[47] For starring in Vera's directorial debut, Farmiga was given a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck as payment.[47] Through her sister's second marriage, she is the sister-in-law of musician and film producer Renn Hawkey, and the co-sister-in-law of actress and photographer Molly Hawkey.[48] From 1997 to 2005, she was the sister-in-law of French actor Sebastian Roché.[3] Farmiga can play the guitar,[11] and is bilingual: able to speak both English and Ukrainian fluently.[49]

Farmiga has appeared in many popular magazines, such as Elle,[50] Lucky,[51] Nylon, Interview,[52] Muse,[53] Marie Claire,[54] Complex,[33] and Rolling Stone.[55] 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.[1] In December 2012, Farmiga modeled in Teen Vogue for the launch of designer Jason Wu's clothing line, Miss Wu.[56]



Year Title Role Notes
2011 Higher Ground Corinne Walker
2013 At Middleton Audrey Martin
2013 The Bling Ring Sam Moore
2013 Mindscape Anna Greene
2014 Jamesy Boy Sarah
2015 The Final Girls Max Cartwright
2015 Share Krystal Short film
2015 6 Years Melanie Clark
2015 Untitled Warren Beatty project Sarah In post-production
2015 In a Valley of Violence Mary Anne In post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2011 American Horror Story: Murder House Violet Harmon 11 episodes
2013–14 American Horror Story: Coven Zoe Benson 13 episodes
2015 L.A. Crime Karen McClaren Upcoming series


  1. ^ a b Blasberg, Derek (July 5, 2012). "Drew's Angels - Taissa Farmiga". V Magazine. 
  2. ^ "Higher Ground - Cast". Sony Classics. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Brown, Mick (August 30, 2008). "Vera Farmiga: rare breed". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved July 16, 2009. 
  4. ^ Smindak, Helen (October 15, 2006). "Actress Vera Farmiga: reaching for stardom". Ukrainian Weekly. 
  5. ^ Savage, Sophia (August 22, 2011). "Vera and Taissa Farmiga Talk Higher Ground: Strength, Vulnerability, Self-Discovery, Courage". Indiewire. 
  6. ^ Neumyer, Scott (March 15, 2014). "Actresses Vera and Taissa Farmiga Are Sisters and Best Friends". Parade. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Nadia Spas Obituary". My Central Jersey. October 23, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Farmiga, Vera (April 30, 2014). "I love my lil sisters. #Nadia @t_farmiga #Laryssa". Twitter. 
  9. ^ Tucker, Reed (March 7, 2010). "Ascent of a women". NY Post. (Vera) Farmiga also has a disabled sister whom she cares for. 
  10. ^ Luscombe, Belinda (August 29, 2011). "That's the Spirit". Time. Retrieved August 23, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b Staff, Four. "Taissa Farmiga (Violet) - Cast - American Horror Story". Four NZ. 
  12. ^ "Taissa Farmiga - Biography". Internet Movie Database. 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. 
  13. ^ Associated Press (April 9, 2013). "Vera Farmiga's Family Affair of Acting". Yahoo! News. Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Interview between Adriana and Vera Farmiga". Stoic & Baby. December 1, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2015. 
  15. ^ Zutter, Natalie (October 6, 2011). "5 Facts About American Horror Story Star Taissa Farmiga". Crushable. 
  16. ^ Staff, Variety (January 24, 2011). "Review: 'Higher Ground'". Variety. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  17. ^ Trevena, Oliver (August 2011). "Vera Farmiga and Sister Taissa Take to Higher Ground". Young Hollywood. Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  18. ^ Friedman, Roger (January 26, 2011). ""Up in the Air" Star Vera Farmiga Has Directing Triumph at Sundance". Showbiz 411. Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  19. ^ Levine, Sheri (December 19, 2011). "American beauty: Taissa Farmiga is anything but an American Horror Story". Postmedia News & Canada.com. Archived from the original on December 21, 2011. 
  20. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (May 5, 2011). "'American Horror Story' Casts Young Leads". Deadline. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  21. ^ Wightman, Catriona (December 26, 2011). "'American Horror Story' Taissa Farmiga Q&A: 'Violet is a dark soul' - US TV Interview". Digital Spy. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Best & Worst of 2011 Issue, Dec. 23, 2011". Entertainment Weekly. December 15, 2011. 
  23. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (March 1, 2012). "'American Horror Story' Star Taissa Farmiga Joins Sofia Coppola's 'The Bling Ring'". Indiewire. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  24. ^ a b Chitwood, Adam (March 2, 2012). "'American Horror Story' Star Taissa Farmiga Joins Sofia Coppola's 'The Bling Ring' and Drama Jamesy Boy'". Collider. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  25. ^ Rosen, Christopher (May 16, 2013). "'The Bling Ring' Reviews: Sofia Coppola's Burglar Bunch Film Debuts At Cannes". The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  26. ^ Kit, Borys (June 19, 2012). "Three Actors Join Indie Dramedy 'Admissions'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  27. ^ Warner, Denise (January 23, 2013). "'American Horror Story': Taissa Farmiga in season 3 talks - EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  28. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (February 7, 2013). "'American Horror Story' Adds Frances Conroy, Taissa Farmiga for Season 3". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  29. ^ Pasha, Adam (October 7, 2013). "American Horror Story: Coven Premiere, "Bitchcraft"". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  30. ^ Davis, Edward (October 17, 2012). "Mark Strong, Brian Cox & Taissa Farmiga Join Jaume Collet-Serra's 'Mindscape'". Indiewire. 
  31. ^ Taylor, Drew (May 7, 2014). "Taissa Farmiga On Stepping Into the Spotlight for 'Anna' and Turning to Her Sister, Vera, for Career Advice". Indiewire. 
  32. ^ a b Coleman, Jason (June 4, 2014). "Review: Captivating Taissa Farmiga Gives 'Anna' Its Inner Life". Starpulse. 
  33. ^ a b Encalada, Debbie (January 26, 2014). ""American Horror Story: Coven" Star Taissa Farmiga Talks Dead Baby Compliments and Her New Film "Jamesy Boy"". Complex. 
  34. ^ Kroll, Justin (March 1, 2012). "'Horror Story' thesp Farmiga lands 2 roles". Variety. Retrieved March 4, 2012. 
  35. ^ a b McNary, Dave (February 3, 2015). "SXSW Announces Film Lineup". Variety. 
  36. ^ Anderton, Ethan (February 27, 2014). "Malin Akerman & Taissa Farmiga to Lead Meta Horror 'The Final Girls'". First Showing. 
  37. ^ Barton, Steve (February 27, 2014). "American Horror Story's Taissa Farmiga and Malin Akerman Are The Final Girls". Dread Central. 
  38. ^ Kilday, Gregg (June 12, 2014). "Taissa Farmiga, Ben Rosenfield Starring in Hannah Fidell's New Feature". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  39. ^ "Share SXSW 2015 Event Schedule". South by Southwest. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  40. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 10, 2015). "SXSW 2015 Announces Midnighters Lineup Keeping Fest's Tradition For The Twisted". Deadline. 
  41. ^ Combs, Jacob (June 10, 2014). "Warren Beatty Wraps Filming on Untitled Howard Hughes Project". Indiewire. 
  42. ^ Yamato, Jen (May 22, 2014). "Taissa Farmiga Joins Ethan Hawke, John Travolta In Revenge Western 'In A Valley Of Violence'". Deadline. 
  43. ^ Espina, Alfonso (May 22, 2014). "Taissa Farmiga Joins Ti West's Revenge Western 'In A Valley Of Violence'". Up and Comers. 
  44. ^ Yamato, Jen (August 12, 2014). "'Game Of Thrones' Sophie Turner Set For 'Mary Shelley's Monster' Opposite Jeremy Irvine, Taissa Farmiga". Deadline. 
  45. ^ Gallagher, Brian (August 12, 2014). "'Game of Thrones' Star Sophie Turner Joins 'Mary Shelley's Monster' With Jeremy Irvine & Taissa Farmiga Also Attached to Star". Movie Web. 
  46. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (February 25, 2015). "'American Horror Story' Alum Taissa Farmiga Joins ABC Anthology". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  47. ^ a b Fitzsimons, Amanda (August 2011). "Taissa Farmiga on Sister Vera". Teen Vogue. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  48. ^ Dodes, Rachel (August 19, 2011). "Saving It By Directing It". The Wall Street Journal. 
  49. ^ "5 Things You Don't Know About Taissa Farmiga". Omg! Yahoo!. July 20, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  50. ^ Murphy, Ryan (January 5, 2012). "When a Stranger Calls Starring Taissa Farmiga". Elle Magazine. 
  51. ^ Fishman, Elana (January 2014). "American Horror Story: Coven's Taissa Farmiga On Swapping Clothes With Emma Roberts And Playing An Yves Saint Laurent-Wearing Witch". Lucky Magazine. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  52. ^ T. Cole, Rachel (September 2011). "Taissa Farmiga: Actress, 17". Interview Magazine. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  53. ^ Meida, Alexis (Spring 2013). "Taissa Farmiga Young Muse". Muse Magazine. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  54. ^ Boe, Marion (June 18, 2013). "She's All That – Taissa Farmiga, 18: Actress". Marie Claire. 
  55. ^ Neumyer, Scott (November 6, 2013). "Taissa Farmiga Has Special Powers". Rolling Stone. 
  56. ^ Brecher, Media (December 2012). "Jason Wu Launches New Label Miss Wu". Teen Vogue. Retrieved October 18, 2014. 

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