Farmiga in November 2011
|Born||Vera Ann Farmiga
(1973-08-06) August 6, 1973
Clifton, New Jersey, U.S.
|Alma mater||Syracuse University|
Sebastian RochÃ© (m. 1997â€“2004)
Taissa Farmiga (sister)
I’ve always believed that if you are precise in your thoughts, it’s not the lines you say that are important – it’s what exists between the lines. What I’m compelled by most is that transparency of thought, what is left unspoken.
I think all religions can agree on certain definitions of God and concepts of God, like God being the god of love, the great ‘I am’ energy.
I’ve never felt the breath of God – you can take that statement literally or metaphorically – more than when I was yearning for a personal, intimate connection to something bigger than me.
There are some times when I think acting can be a noble profession. And when those rare roles come along, like ‘Down to the Bone,’ you have the opportunity to be of service.
We’re all sick of holy wars and bloodshed because religion is supposed to give us life and a better life and is supposed to bring out our best self. When it results in mass destruction and hatred and anxiety, it’s the antithesis I think of what religion was designed to do.
It’s a very different thing, religion and faith. Religion is man-made, it’s man-regulated. And faith, you can define God as you wish. But I think they’re two different things.
Editing yourself is like an irksome coin toss. You’ve got to strip yourself of super ego and operate from the id. Maybe I’ve got my Freud mixed up. It’s just hard to trade a beauty shot for the performance with truth and a brightly lit zit.
I think that films about faith made for faith-based communities have a certain tactic.
I can’t get my knickers in a twist about my age and ageing in an industry that caters to the ids of 14-year-olds.
Editing is not a part of the filmmaking process I’ve ever been privy to as an actress.
Sometimes I attract roles that are necessary either for personal growth or enlightenment.
Your soul either feels lifted by something that you read, or it feels squashed by it.
We are all seekers in some way. There are those of us who think they have all the answers and there are those of us who may never get an answer.
I am drawn to intimate, often uncomfortable portraits of a woman persevering and awakening.
I come from a massive family, and the youngest is twentysomething years younger than I am, so I grew up with children.
Normally, I rely heavily on my director to massage me out of my actor comfort zones.
I’m from the school of, ‘if you want more, you have to require more from yourself.’
I didn’t grow up watching film but as a Ukrainian-American, music and stories and dance are crucial.
There really are three types of ‘religious’ movies: the ones that make fun of it, the ones that vilify it and the ones that literally preach to the converted.
I don’t have a caustic sense of humor. What I find funny, that humor comes from a much gentler place.
I hate being manipulated by song. Don’t tell me what I should be feeling. I don’t want cellos or violins to be telling me that I should be bawling right now.
Someone once told me that religion is like a knife: You can stab someone with it, or you can slice bread with it.
When I look at female characters, I want to recognize myself in them: my trials, my tribulations as a mother, as a lover, as a daughter.
Honestly, I think a good film is spiritual, regardless of whether its subject is faith.
I grew up in a Ukrainian Catholic-turned-Christian household, and that is my family’s faith.
Working with children is a whole other ball game. They’re like little animals. You have to keep the camera turned on them all the time. Sometimes it takes a 41-minute take to get one sentence out in a believable way.
Am I ambitious? I used to be afraid of that word but now I think ambition is a good thing.
There are women who make things better, there are women who change things, there are women who make things happen, who make a difference. I want to be one of those women.
I have the best husband a wife could possibly have. He’s the best father my children could have.
I was a Ukrainian folk dancer in my teens, and I toured the country in 1991, shortly before the break-up of the Soviet Union.
I just can’t feel lukewarm about a character. I either despise her, admire her, or don’t understand her and want to understand her.
Whether we call it religion or faith, we all battle for a balanced integrated soul.
The biggest research of all when I do a character is self-examination. You look at yourself and you ask, ‘How am I similar to this person and how am I different?’
As an actor, you’re sort of the court-appointed lawyer for the character.
Offers come all the time, but I’m pretty particular. I really have to be wowed by a character I encounter in a script, or a storyline. I really do need to feel inspiration, otherwise I’m just happy planting perennials and making goat cheese.
We take a lot for granted as second wave feminists, what our mothers and aunts did for us.
Doubt is the middle position between knowledge and ignorance. It encompasses cynicism but also genuine questioning.
The limelight is a tricky place, because you can’t believe what’s going on around you. You stop observing. You stop perceiving. You stop extending yourself, and you become isolated.
Whether you’re making a million dollar film or a $100 million film there is never enough money, there’s never enough time.
I’m hooked on Polanski’s films, his psychological thrillers. I love ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ I love ‘Repulsion.’
I’m part wood nymph. I require mountains and warm, dense patches of moss to thrive.
I just hate one-dimensional portrayals of religion; it’s too cheap and easy to do, and ignores the nuances that go into having a belief system.
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.
I love Saturday nights with my best friend and a big bowl of pasta, wanting a good scare, something that will say, ‘Listen, your life is not as bad as this. Your life can be so much worse.’
You earn very little money on independent films and I’m the provider for my home, so I do have to think of taking one for the accountant time and again and that means studio pictures.
The more people know about you, the more face-time you get in the media, the harder your job becomes to create a character in whom people suspend disbelief.
I’m saying that the depth of exploration of the male psyche and the female psyche is uneven. I see further, deeper renderings of what it means to be a man.
Ruminants are a perfectly normal thing to possess when you live in upstate New York. It’s just moving scenery. It’s kind of like the equivalent of Great Danes. It’s the way you keep your grass mowed. It’s the way you keep your weed-whacking to a minimum.
In these times, in this harsh, rude, warring world that we live in, where most of the bloodshed is ‘My god is greater than your god,’ and we’re fighting in the name of our god, we have to find a way to peaceably coexist, spiritually.
My only real advice to Oscar nominees is, ‘If you haven’t actually seen a competitor’s film, don’t fib and say you have and blow smoke up their wahooziewhatsits.’ Always best to be frank and tell them the truth.
I think I always try to be accommodating and open and available and proving for my director. I love to give as many takes as they want. I love to give them as many choices as they want.