Farmiga in November 2011
|Born||Vera Ann Farmiga
August 6, 1973
Clifton, New Jersey, U.S.
|Alma mater||Syracuse University|
Vera Ann Farmiga (//; born August 6, 1973) is an American actress, film director, and producer. She began her career on the stage, making her Broadway debut in the play Taking Sides (1996). Farmiga made her television debut on the Fox fantasy adventure series Roar (1997), and her feature film debut in the drama-thriller Return to Paradise (1998).
Farmiga's breakout role came in 2004, when she was cast as a mother harboring a secret drug habit in the independent drama film Down to the Bone. Her film career continued, with Farmiga co-starring in the biographical drama Iron Jawed Angels (2004), the crime drama The Departed (2006), the historical drama The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008), and the political drama Nothing But the Truth (2008). Farmiga gained more critical acclaim following her performance as businesswoman Alex Goran in the 2009 comedy-drama Up in the Air, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress.
She then had starring roles in the psychological thriller Orphan (2009), the romantic comedy Henry's Crime (2010), and the science fiction film Source Code (2011). She made her directorial debut with the drama film Higher Ground (2011), in which she also starred in the lead role. In 2013, Farmiga portrayed famous paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren in the horror film The Conjuring, and will reprise the role in the 2016 sequel The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist.
Since 2013, Farmiga has starred as Norma Louise Bates in the A&E television series Bates Motel. She was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for her performance. Farmiga has served as a producer since its second season. This role, along with her lead roles in Joshua, Orphan, and The Conjuring films, has garnered her the reputation of a scream queen.
- 1 Early life and family
- 2 Career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Early life and family
Vera Ann Farmiga was born in Clifton, New Jersey, to Ukrainian immigrants Luba (née Spas) and Michael Farmiga. Her mother is a former schoolteacher, and her father is a retired computer systems analyst. She has three brothers: Victor, Stephan, and Alexander; and three sisters: Nadia, Laryssa, who has spina bifida, and Taissa, who is also an actress. Her cousin is visual artist Adriana Farmiga. Her maternal grandparents, Nadia (née Pletenciw; 1925–2014) and Theodor Spas (1921–90), met at a displaced Ukrainian persons camp in Karlsfeld, Germany during World War II. At the time, her grandfather was working as a mechanic for the United States Army. Theodor and Nadia were married in Munich in 1946, and emigrated to the United States 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 knee problems.
Farmiga was raised in an insular Ukrainian American community in Irvington, New Jersey, with Ukrainian as her native language. She did not learn English until she started kindergarten at age 6. As a child, she converted with her family from the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church to Pentecostalism. When she was 12, Farmiga and her family moved from Irvington to Whitehouse Station, in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. She attended St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic School in Newark, New Jersey, and toured with a Ukrainian folk-dancing ensemble called the Syzokryli during her teen years. In addition to being a professionally trained folk dancer, she is also a classically trained pianist. She was a member of Plast, a Ukrainian Girl Scouts organization. In 1991, Farmiga graduated from Hunterdon Central Regional High School. During her junior year there, she found acting after being benched during a varsity soccer game; her best friend then convinced her to try out for the school play, and she got the lead role. Farmiga went on to study Performing Arts at Syracuse University in New York, from which she graduated in 1995.
1996–2001: Career beginnings
Although she originally intended to become an ophthalmologist, Farmiga attended Syracuse University's School of Visual and Performing Arts. She made her Broadway debut in 1996, as an understudy in the roles of Emmi Straube and Tamara Sachs, in the Ronald Harwood play Taking Sides. The same year, she starred as Miranda in the American Conservatory Theater production of The Tempest. She also performed in several productions as a member of The Barrow Group, a prestigious New York City Theater Company, where her credits include Nina Zarechnaya in The Seagull, and Anne in Good. Following her theater debut, she played the role of Catlin in the 1997 Fox fantasy adventure series Roar, which was filmed in Australia, alongside Heath Ledger and Sebastian Roché. Farmiga said that the series "wanted to be Braveheart but turned out more Xena: Warrior Princess." The show was cancelled by the network after just one season.
In 1997, Farmiga starred in the Hallmark Hall of Fame television Western film Rose Hill as Emily Elliot. The film also featured Jennifer Garner and premiered on the CBS network. In 1998, Farmiga guest starred in one episode of Law & Order, portraying the daughter of a convicted murderer who goes on her own killing spree. Throughout the late 1990s, she continued appearing in stage, television and film roles, including a supporting role as Kerrie in the 1998 film Return to Paradise, a drama-thriller about two friends struggling to save another friend from an impending death sentence. She starred with Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, and Joaquin Phoenix. In 2000, Farmiga had a supporting role in the romantic drama Autumn in New York. The film follows the story of a man who falls in love with a young woman who is terminally ill. The role afforded Farmiga the opportunity to work alongside Richard Gere (who played her character's biological father) and Winona Ryder. Autumn in New York grossed a total of $90,726,668 worldwide and was a financial success.
Also in 2000, she had a supporting role in the crime drama film The Opportunists, portraying Miriam Kelly, the daughter of Christopher Walken's character. Farmiga then had a major supporting role as Daphne Handlova in the action thriller 15 Minutes (2001), starring Robert De Niro. The film was a box office success, making a total of $56,359,980 worldwide against a budget of $42 million. That same year, she starred in the British-Macedonian Western drama film Dust, opposite Joseph Fiennes. The film opened at the Venice Film Festival on August 29, 2001. Also in 2001, she portrayed the character of Queen Josephine in Snow White: The Fairest of Them All, a made-for-television film, and joined the main cast of the NBC procedural drama series UC: Undercover as Alex Cross. The series lasted one season and was cancelled in early 2002.
2002–08: Breakthrough and critical acclaim
In 2002, Farmiga had her first starring role in the romantic drama film Love in the Time of Money. The film received a limited release. She then starred as Helen in a John Erman-directed stage production of Under the Blue Sky at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Critic Ralph Hamman wrote of Farmiga's performance in the play: "Most compelling is Vera Farmiga, who dances a fragile yet dangerous duet with Tate Donovan. Reams of subtext sweep across her face and stimulate her entire presence into being a sort of supersensitive seismograph to Donovan's every word and action." Farmiga next appeared alongside Milla Jovovich and Adrien Brody in the comedy-drama Dummy (2002), which was released to theaters on September 13, 2003. In 2004, Farmiga had the starring role in the independent drama film Down to the Bone. Her performance as the character of Irene Morrison earned her several award nominations, including the Best Actress Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the Best Female Lead Award from the Film Independent Spirit Awards.
In 2004, she starred in the American adaptation of the British crime drama television series Touching Evil, portraying the role of Detective Susan Branca. The series aired on the USA Network and was well received by critics, however, the network did not renew the series for a second season. Farmiga also had a supporting role as Jocelyne Jordan in the 2004 political thriller remake The Manchurian Candidate. Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep also starred in the film. It was well received by film critics and was a mild success at the worldwide box office, grossing $96,105,964 worldwide. She then co-starred as Polish-American suffragette Ruza Wenclawska in the 2004 HBO drama film Iron Jawed Angels, opposite Anjelica Huston and Hilary Swank. In 2005, she played the role of Eleanna in the fantasy drama Neverwas, co-starring Aaron Eckhart and Ian McKellen. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2005.
Rather than attending auditions for films in which she is interested, Farmiga makes short films which she submits for casting. She stated: "To fade in and fade out, have intimacy with the [microphones], the lighting, and have the luxury of takes – you could make yourself as ugly or as beautiful as you wanted." One of these audition tapes led to Martin Scorsese inviting her for a "chemistry read" with Leonardo DiCaprio, which led to her role as the police psychiatrist Dr. Madolyn Madden in The Departed (2006). The film was lauded by critics and was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning four (including the Academy Award for Best Picture). For her performance in the role of Madolyn, Farmiga was nominated for the Empire Award for Best Newcomer, and shared with her co-stars the nomination for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Also in 2006, Farmiga starred in Wayne Kramer's crime thriller Running Scared opposite Paul Walker, and Anthony Minghella's romantic crime drama Breaking and Entering opposite Jude Law. In 2007, Farmiga landed the lead role of Sophie Lee in Gina Kim's Korean-American romantic drama Never Forever, about a New York woman arranging to pay an illegal immigrant from Korea to have sex with her, so that she might get pregnant and save her marriage. Her performance was praised by the film critic G. Allen Johnson who described her as "the best American actress you've never heard of." Farmiga starred with Sam Rockwell in the 2007 psychological thriller film Joshua. Later, she appeared in the 2008 drama film Quid Pro Quo, portraying the character Fiona. The film premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and received favorable reviews; David Edelstein of New York Magazine stated that Farmiga "is – as usual – scarily good. Her madness isn't something out of the ether. She's always visibly calculating, thinking better of something reckless she's about to do – then doing it anyway."
Farmiga then appeared in the British historical drama The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008), as Elsa (Mother), the wife of a Nazi commandant (David Thewlis). The film, based on the novel of the same name, tells the story of a friendly relationship between two 8-year-old boys, one the son of a concentration camp's commandant and the other a Jewish inmate. She won the British Independent Film Award for Best Actress for her role in the film. That same year, Farmiga starred in the World War II drama In Transit, which was shot in St. Petersburg, Russia. She then played the role of Erica Van Doren in the political thriller Nothing But the Truth, which also starred Matt Dillon and Kate Beckinsale. Many critics called Farmiga the standout of the film. Adam Liptak of The New York Times wrote: "The film's most striking performance comes from Vera Farmiga who plays the CIA operative, here called Erica Van Doren." The role earned Farmiga a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the 2009 Critics' Choice Movie Awards.
2009–12: Up in the Air and directorial debut
Farmiga next appeared in Jaume Collet-Serra's psychological thriller film Orphan (2009). In the film, she and Peter Sarsgaard portrayed a couple who, after the death of their unborn child, adopt a mysterious 9-year-old girl. The film was released theatrically in the United States on July 24, 2009. Although Orphan received mixed reviews from film critics, the film became a box office success, grossing $78,337,373 worldwide. Farmiga's performance was praised, with Toby Young of The Times writing that she "becomes more convincing as the story unfolds. By the end, she has you in the palm of her hand." She then starred in Niki Caro's romantic drama A Heavenly Vintage, which premiered (as The Vintner's Luck) at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2009.
Also in 2009, Farmiga starred opposite George Clooney in the comedy-drama Up in the Air, which was initially given limited release (and later, wider release) on December 4, 2009. In an interview with NJ.com, Farmiga explained her character: "She doesn't temper her desires at all. She makes clear her needs and expects to have the world accommodate them. It's not a character we often see on-screen, and when we do, more often than not she's bereft of dignity. So that was cool." Up in the Air received universal acclaim and was a box office success, with a worldwide gross of $166,842,739. Roger Ebert praised her performance in the film, stating: "Farmiga is one of the warmest and most attractive women in the movies, or at least she plays one." In 2010, she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, and a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture, as well as many other nominations. On June 25, 2010, she was inducted into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
In December 2009, Farmiga began filming the surrealist romantic comedy film Henry's Crime with Keanu Reeves, with production wrapping in early 2010. The film was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 14, 2010. Farmiga then played Capt. Colleen Goodwin in the science fiction action thriller film Source Code, which was released on April 1, 2011. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing $147,332,697 worldwide. Farmiga was offered lead roles in both Madonna's romantic drama W.E. (2011) and Marc Forster's action biopic Machine Gun Preacher (2011), but declined both roles due to her falling pregnant with her second child.
Farmiga made her directorial debut with the 2011 religious drama film Higher Ground, in which she also starred as the adult Corinne Walker. Corinne as a teenager was portrayed by her younger sister Taissa Farmiga. Farmiga's husband Renn Hawkey served as a producer and musical director for the project, and her cousin Adriana Farmiga served as an art curator. The film received acclaim from critics following its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2011. It was then given a limited release in the United States on August 26, 2011. Farmiga received award nominations in both acting and directing for the feature, including the Gotham Award for Best Breakthrough Director and the Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture.
In 2012, Farmiga appeared as Wendy Whitman, a flaky New Age mother, in the independent comedy-drama film Goats, which also starred David Duchovny and Ty Burrell. The film opened at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2012, and was given a limited release in the United States on August 10, 2012. Also in 2012, Farmiga starred in Daniel Espinosa's action thriller Safe House as CIA operative Catherine Linklater, opposite Ryan Reynolds. Safe House also marked the second time she has starred on-screen with Denzel Washington. The film had its premiere in New York City on February 7, 2012, and was released to theaters in the United States on February 10, 2012. The film received mixed reviews from critics but was a financial success, grossing $208,076,205 at the worldwide box office.
2013–present: Bates Motel and The Conjuring films
Since 2013, Farmiga has portrayed the lead role of Norma Louise Bates, the mother of Norman Bates, in the A&E drama-thriller series Bates Motel. The series is both a prequel to and a story reboot of Alfred Hitchcock's horror film Psycho. For her performance in the role, Farmiga won the 2013 Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television, and has received three nominations for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series (2013–15), as well as nominations for the 2013 Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama, the 2013 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, and the 2013 TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Drama. In addition to starring in the series, Farmiga has served as a producer since its second season.
Farmiga next appeared in James Wan's horror film The Conjuring (2013). The film, released on July 19, 2013, was both a critical and financial success, becoming one of the highest grossing horror films of all time, grossing $318 million worldwide from a budget of $20 million. Farmiga portrayed the famous paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren, alongside Patrick Wilson as her husband and partner Ed. Set in 1971, The Conjuring follows the Warrens as they investigate demonic activity occurring at a farmhouse in Rhode Island. Farmiga was nominated for the MTV Movie Award for Best Scared-As-S**t Performance for her role. A sequel titled The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist, focusing on the infamous case in Enfield, London from 1977 to 1979, is set to be released on June 10, 2016.
In 2013, Farmiga starred in the romantic comedy At Middleton with Andy García and her sister Taissa Farmiga. The film premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival on May 17, 2013, and was released in theaters on January 31, 2014. In 2014, Farmiga starred in the Romanian-American comedy-drama Closer to the Moon as Alice Bercovich. The film was shot in Bucharest, Romania, and was released in Romanian movie theaters on March 7, 2014. The film was released in the United States on April 17, 2015 in a limited release and through video on demand. She then appeared in David Dobkin's drama film The Judge (2014), starring alongside Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall. Farmiga portrayed Samantha Powell, the ex-girlfriend of Downey's character whom he reconnects with after returning to their hometown. The film was a mild success at the box office, grossing $83,719,388 from a budget of $50 million.
In 2016, Farmiga will portray Eleanor Finch in Ricky Gervais' satirical comedy film Special Correspondents, starring opposite Gervais and Eric Bana. The film will be released exclusively by Netflix. That same year, she will star alongside Virginia Madsen in the adventure comedy-drama film Burn Your Maps, directed by Jordan Roberts. Farmiga will portray Alise Firth, a mother grieving the loss of a child when her 8-year-old son declares that he is a Mongolian goat herder born in the wrong place.
Relationships and family
Farmiga met French actor Sebastian Roché while co-starring together on the television series Roar. They eloped to the Bahamas after the series ended in 1997. Farmiga and Roché separated in 2004, and were divorced in 2005 following eight years of marriage. In 2004, Farmiga began dating musician Renn Hawkey (of Deadsy) after meeting on the set of her television series Touching Evil. The couple married in a private ceremony on September 13, 2008, when Farmiga was five months pregnant with their first child. Their son, Fynn McDonnell Hawkey, was born on January 15, 2009 in Rhinebeck, New York. Farmiga gave birth to their second child, a daughter named Gytta Lubov Hawkey, on November 4, 2010. The family divides their time between homes in Ulster County, New York and Vancouver, British Columbia. Through her marriage to Hawkey, she is the sister-in-law of actress and photographer Molly Hawkey. Farmiga's younger sister is actress Taissa Farmiga, whom she considers her best friend.
Farmiga is a nondenominational Christian. In an August 2011 interview with Christianity Today, Farmiga said: "I grew up in a Ukrainian Catholic-turned-Christian household, and that is my family's faith. My father instilled in me – of utmost importance and innate in me is the yearning to determine for myself – to define God, to define holiness for myself. That was my parents' number one lesson for us." She then added: "For [me], God is in temples and in churches, and on park benches. I don't belong to any particular church, but I'm someone who will be able to walk into any place of worship, any house of worship, and have a direct correspondence."
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Clifton native and former Irvington resident Vera Farmiga makes an astonishingly assured directorial debut with this engrossing study of Corinne...
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(Vera) Farmiga also has a disabled sister whom she cares for.
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Farmiga, a classically trained pianist, will sing and play the ivories in the film.
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Vera reads music and was taught classical piano when she was young.
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Congratulations to Vera Farmiga. The Syracuse University drama graduate, Class of 1995, is up for a Golden Globe trophy in the supporting actress in a movie category.
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Vera Farmiga is up for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Up in The Air
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- Matthewes-Green, Frederica (August 24, 2011). "Vera Farmiga's Struggles with God". Christianity Today.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vera Farmiga.|
- Vera Farmiga at the Internet Movie Database
- Vera Farmiga at the Internet Broadway Database
- Vera Farmiga at Rotten Tomatoes
- Vera Farmiga at AllMovie
- Vera Farmiga on Twitter