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.
Although Farmiga initially planned to be an accountant, she was persuaded to appear in her sister Vera Farmiga's directorial debut 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. For starring in Vera's directorial debut, Farmiga was given a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck as payment. 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 The Bling Ring, based on the real life Hollywood Hills burglaries in 2008 and 2009. She portrayed Sam Moore, a wild child teenager based on 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 then 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 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.
In 2016, Farmiga will star as Mary Anne in Ti West's Western film In a Valley of Violence, alongside Ethan Hawke and John Travolta. She will then appear as part of the all-star ensemble cast of Warren Beatty's untitled Howard Hughes project, portraying the daughter of Ed Harris' character. Also in 2016, Farmiga is set to make her stage debut as Shelly in the Off-Broadway revival of Sam Shepard's play Buried Child, starring opposite Ed Harris and Amy Madigan. The production will begin previews on February 2, 2016, and will run from February 17 to March 27, 2016.
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||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||4 episodes|
|2016||Buried Child||Shelly||The New Group, Off-Broadway||Upcoming production|
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- Farmiga, Vera (April 30, 2014). "I love my lil sisters. #Nadia @t_farmiga #Laryssa". Twitter.
- Tucker, Reed (March 7, 2010). "Ascent of a women". New York Post.
(Vera) Farmiga also has a disabled sister whom she cares for.
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- Hopewell, John (October 17, 2012). "Strong, Cox, Farmiga enter 'Mindscape'". Variety.
- Schobert, Christopher (June 3, 2014). "Review: Adequate Thriller 'Anna' Starring Mark Strong & Taissa Farmiga". Indiewire.
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- DeFore, John (January 16, 2014). "Jamesy Boy: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter.
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- Kilday, Gregg (June 12, 2014). "Taissa Farmiga, Ben Rosenfield Starring in Hannah Fidell's New Feature". The Hollywood Reporter.
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- Goldberg, Lesley (February 25, 2015). "'American Horror Story' Alum Taissa Farmiga Joins ABC Anthology". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Andreeva, Nellie (June 10, 2015). "ABC Sets Fall Premiere Dates: 'Wicked City' Gets October Launch On Tuesday". Deadline.com.
- Yamato, Jen (May 22, 2014). "Taissa Farmiga Joins Ethan Hawke, John Travolta In Revenge Western 'In A Valley Of Violence'". Deadline.com.
- Radish, Christina (September 2, 2015). "Taissa Farmiga and Ben Rosenfield Talk '6 Years', Future Projects, and More". Collider.com.
- Gerard, Jeremy (October 8, 2015). "'American Horror Story's Taissa Farmiga Joins Ed Harris, Amy Madigan In 'Buried Child' Revival". Deadline.com.
- Dodes, Rachel (August 19, 2011). "Saving It By Directing It". The Wall Street Journal.
- Taissa Farmiga at the Internet Movie Database
- Taissa Farmiga at Rotten Tomatoes
- Taissa Farmiga on Twitter