While many aspiring teen actresses have spent years endlessly auditioning or doing a tenure of perky over-performing on the Disney Channel, 17-year-old Taissa Farmiga came to acting solely at the request of her big sister, actor-director Vera Farmiga. Called upon to play the younger version of Vera’s character in this year’s sleeper hit Higher Ground (which Vera also directed), Farmiga not only held her own, but garnered rave reviews. “I never thought about acting before then,” she says. “I was 15 years old, so I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was sort of thinking about colleges and stuff.” This fall, the New Jersey native tackles television with a role alongside Jessica Lange and Dylan McDermott in FX’s American Horror Story, the brainchild of Glee creator Ryan Murphy. For Farmiga, the show’s subject matter wasn’t the only thing about the experience that would prove terrifying. “I finally had a scene with Jessica Lange,” she says. “I was so nervous that I couldn’t even act out the scene. I couldn’t believe I was actually there in the room.” As for the actual horror aspect of the show, Farmiga admits it’s taken some getting used to. “I get so scared so easily. In the pilot episode there is this very scary scene in the basement. I suddenly became really terrified because of the scenario—like, actual terror running through my body.”
Photo: Taissa Farmiga in Venice, California, September 2011. Jacket: Acne. Sweater: Emporio Armani. Jeans: True Religion. Ring: Danni Jo. Shoes: TopShop.