Vera Farmiga is an Academy-Award nominated actress probably best known for her performance in the film “Up in the Air” and the TV series “Bates Motel.” She also directed the film “Higher Ground.”
Vera Farmiga was born the second of seven kids and apparently didn’t speak English until she was six. (Her parents were first-generation immigrants.) She was raised in a strict Ukrainian Catholic home.
Vera Farmiga went to a Ukrainian Catholic school, then public school. As a kid, she was shy and nearsighted. In her teens, she toured with a Ukrainian folk-dancing company. She said, “My culture is very rich in the art; singing and dancing were so much a part of my childhood. I was in a traveling professional dance troupe called Syzokryli, and I was very serious about the piano. So I was always performing.”
Vera Farmiga added about her life: “I’m pretty squeaky clean. No big tragedies in my childhood or adolescence or adulthood. I’ve had a very easygoing, simple life.” She added, “Partying has never been my thing.” When she smoked pot, she said, “it’s always ended up like a bad Chekhov play. I become tragic. I feel like this dark vacuum that sucks the life out of the room. It just doesn’t agree with my chemistry.”
After she graduated from high school, she attended Syracuse University and studied acting. She said, “I’m not an attention seeker; I wasn’t looking for fame and fortune…I found I was really comfortable taking on a different personality. It saved me from myself, in a way.”
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In 1996, she made her Broadway debut in “Taking Sides.” Since then, she has appeared in a variety of projects, including “Source Code,” “The Manchurian Candidate,” and “Bates Motel.” She reportedly used a body double in “Up in the Air.”
As for the roles she takes, Vera Farmiga said, “I look for struggle in the roles I choose – struggle and perseverance.” As for acting, she said one of the harder things to do organically is “laughing…I can’t conjure up that emotion on cue.”
Though she works in Los Angeles, Vera Farmiga said in an interview, “I can’t do Los Angeles. I’ve always been the anti-Barbie. I don’t want to be in a place where almost every woman walks around with puffy lips, little noses and breasts large enough to nourish a small country.”
She lives in upstate New York with her second husband, and her two children. She said, “I’m part wood nymph. I require mountains and warm, dense patches of moss to thrive.” When she receives scripts that she doesn’t like, she holds onto them until the pile is big enough and then she sets them on fire. “They do get thrown in and used for fertilizer. It’s recycling. Bonfires need to be fed and scripts, after all, are wood.”