August 17, 1994
Readington, New Jersey, U.S.
Taissa Farmiga (/ /; born August 17, 1994) is an American actress, who made her film debut in the drama Higher Ground (2011). She made her television debut in the FX series American Horror Story: Murder House (2011). She has subsequently starred in the films The Bling Ring (2013), Mindscape (2013), The Final Girls (2015), and 6 Years (2015).
Early life and family
Farmiga was born and raised in the Whitehouse Station area of Readington Township, New Jersey. She is the youngest of seven children born to Ukrainian American parents Lubomyra (née Spas), a former schoolteacher, and Michael Farmiga, a retired computer systems analyst. Her older siblings are Victor, Vera, Stephan, Nadia, Alexander, and Laryssa; the latter of whom was born with spina bifida. She attended public school until fourth grade, after which she began homeschooling. Farmiga has stated that she understands the Ukrainian language but can only partially speak it. She is proficient in American Sign Language, having taken classes for four years.
Farmiga's maternal grandparents, Nadia (née Pletenciw; 1925–2014) and Theodor Spas (1921–90), met at a displaced Ukrainian persons camp in Karlsfeld during World War II. At the time, Theodor was working as a mechanic for the United States Army. Her grandparents emigrated to the U.S. in 1950 when Farmiga's mother was an infant. Farmiga's father was born in Ukraine and raised in Argentina. He was scouted to play professional soccer for the Argentine national football team, but moved to the U.S. after suffering a knee injury. Her paternal cousin is visual artist Adriana Farmiga.
2011–15: Beginnings and American Horror Story
Although Farmiga initially planned to be an accountant, she was persuaded to appear in her sister Vera Farmiga's directorial debut drama Higher Ground, playing the 16-year-old version of the lead character. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2011, to critical acclaim. Shortly after, and following rave reviews for her performance, Farmiga was signed to talent agency ICM Partners. In May 2011, she was cast in the first season of the FX anthology series American Horror Story, launching Farmiga to worldwide prominence. She portrayed Violet Harmon, the troubled adolescent daughter of Vivien (Connie Britton) and Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott), a role she secured in her first professional acting audition. American Horror Story: Murder House premiered on October 5, 2011, to positive reviews. Farmiga then joined the cast of Sofia Coppola's crime satire The Bling Ring, based on the real life group of the same name. She portrayed wild child Sam Moore, a character modelled 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, Farmiga signed on to portray Audrey Martin, an uptight teen touring a college campus, in the independent romantic comedy At Middleton, co-starring with her sister. The film premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival on May 17, 2013, receiving a mixed to positive response from critics. Farmiga then returned to American Horror Story for the third season of the series. She portrayed Zoe Benson, a young witch afflicted with a dark and dangerous power. American Horror Story: Coven premiered on October 9, 2013, to positive reviews. Farmiga had her first starring role as Anna Greene in Jorge Dorado's psychological thriller Mindscape. The world premiere was held at the Sitges Film Festival on October 13, 2013. The film was released in the United States on June 6, 2014, to a mixed critical reception. She next co-starred as Sarah, the main character's love interest, in the biographical crime drama Jamesy Boy. The film was given a limited release in the United States on January 17, 2014, receiving mostly unfavorable reviews.
Farmiga joined the cast of Todd Strauss-Schulson's horror comedy The Final Girls, portraying the lead role of final girl Max Cartwright. The film premiered at South by Southwest (SXSW) on March 13, 2015, to critical acclaim. Her next film role was alongside Ben Rosenfield in Hannah Fidell's heavily improvised romantic drama 6 Years. The film opened at SXSW on March 14, 2015, to mixed reviews from critics. Farmiga then starred as protagonist Krystal, a teenager who returns to school after an explicit video of her sexual assault goes viral, in Pippa Bianco's short drama film Share. The short also premiered at SXSW on March 14, 2015, to a positive reception. Her performances in all three films were acclaimed, and Farmiga was listed as one of the breakout stars of SXSW. She subsequently co-starred as Karen McClaren, a young journalist who gets caught up in the hunt for a serial killer, in ABC's short-lived crime drama series Wicked City. The series premiered on October 27, 2015, and was cancelled after three episodes due to low ratings. However, the remaining episodes were released in December 2015, through Hulu.
2016–present: Stage debut and continued film roles
Farmiga began 2016 with her stage debut, performing as Shelly in the Off-Broadway revival of Sam Shepard's play Buried Child, opposite Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, and Nat Wolff. The production runs from February 2 through March 27, 2016. She then stars as Mary Anne in Ti West's Western film In a Valley of Violence, alongside Ethan Hawke and John Travolta, which will premiere at South by Southwest in March 2016. Farmiga will voice the superhero Raven / Rachel Roth in the DC Comics animated film Justice League vs. Teen Titans, set for direct-to-video release on March 29, 2016. She is also set to appear in the all-star cast of Warren Beatty's highly anticipated untitled romantic drama film, portraying the daughter of Ed Harris' character.
Farmiga's older sister is Oscar-nominated actress Vera Farmiga, and the two consider each other best friends. Through Vera's second marriage, she is the sister-in-law of musician and film producer Renn Hawkey. Farmiga was previously the sister-in-law of actor Sebastian Roché.
|2011||Higher Ground||Teenage Corinne Walker|
|2013||At Middleton||Audrey Martin|
|2013||The Bling Ring||Sam Moore|
|2015||The Final Girls||Max Cartwright|
|2015||6 Years||Melanie Clark|
|2016||In a Valley of Violence||Mary Anne||Completed|
|2016||Justice League vs. Teen Titans||Raven / Rachel Roth||Voice; Completed|
|2016||Untitled Warren Beatty project||Sarah||Completed|
|2011||American Horror Story: Murder House||Violet Harmon||11 episodes|
|2013–14||American Horror Story: Coven||Zoe Benson||13 episodes|
|2015||Wicked City||Karen McClaren||8 episodes|
Awards and nominations
|2012||Online Film & Television Association Awards||Best Ensemble in a Drama Series||American Horror Story: Murder House||Nominated|||
|2014||Best Ensemble in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||American Horror Story: Coven||Nominated|||
|2015||Fright Meter Awards||Best Actress in a Leading Role||The Final Girls||Nominated|||
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- "The New Group Extends BURIED CHILD with Ed Harris, Taissa Farmiga & More". Broadway World. January 29, 2016.
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- "2013/2014 (18th) OFTA TV Awards". Online Film & Television Association Award. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
- "2011/2012 (16th) OFTA TV Awards". Online Film & Television Association Award. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
- "It Follows, Spring, and We Are Still Here Lead the 2015 Fright Meter Awards Nominations". Fright Meter Awards. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
- Taissa Farmiga at the Internet Movie Database
- Taissa Farmiga at Rotten Tomatoes
- Taissa Farmiga on Twitter