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), and her television debut in the FX series American Horror Story: Murder House (2011). She has since 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 had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2011, and Farmiga's performance was lauded by film critics. 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, to a mixed 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.
In March 2015, three of Farmiga's films premiered at South by Southwest. The first, Todd Strauss-Schulson's horror comedy The Final Girls, in which she played the lead role of Max Cartwright, debuted on March 13, 2015 to critical acclaim. The film was released in limited release and through video on demand in the United States on October 9, 2015. The second film, Hannah Fidell's heavily improvised romantic drama 6 Years, premiered on March 14, 2015 and received mixed reviews. The film was released through video on demand on August 18, 2015. The third film, Pippa Bianco's short drama Share, also premiered on March 14, 2015 and won the SXSW Special Jury Recognition for Narrative Short. Farmiga starred as Krystal, a high school student who returns to school after an explicit video of her went viral. Share also won the first prize Cinéfondation Award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Her performances in all three films received praise from critics, and Farmiga was listed as one of the breakout stars of SXSW.
Farmiga was cast in the first season of ABC's crime drama anthology series Wicked City in February 2015. She will portray Karen McClaren, an aspiring journalist who gets caught up in the hunt for a serial killer on the Sunset Strip. The series is scheduled to premiere on October 27, 2015. 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 will make her stage debut 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. For starring in Vera's directorial debut, Farmiga was given a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck as payment. Through Vera's second marriage, she is the sister-in-law of musician and film producer Renn Hawkey. From 1997 until 2005, Farmiga was the sister-in-law of French actor Sebastian Roché.
|2011||Higher Ground||Teenage Corinne|
|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||Upcoming series|
|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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- 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