JUST JARED’s APRIL COVER STAR Taissa Farmiga has quickly become a unique, memorable presence on both the big and small screens. She has an endlessly-watchable quality that you can’t get enough of - whether it’s on film in Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring or in real life on the set of a photo shoot. Even if you can't define her oddball charisma, you know it when you see it.
Taissa got her start in film at the age of 15 when her older sister Vera Farmiga cast her in 2011’s Higher Ground. But it was Ryan Murphy who put Taissa on the map by casting her as Violet Harmon in the first season of his hit series American Horror Story. Playing opposite Jessica Lange and Evan Peters, Taissa demonstrated a chilling depth with her acting prowess, earning her another key role on the third season of the show.
The critically-acclaimed series has repeatedly dominated the Emmy Awards, earning 54 nominations over its first three seasons. And in just four short years, Taissa has become one of Hollywood’s most promising young actresses.
“It’s like watching a peony explode, witnessing Taissa become a woman,” big sis Vera gushes. “She is mid-bloom right now and she is outrageously beautiful. Her cheekiness is in full swell, it’s lush and mischievous. I love laughing with her, always will. I love watching her prance about her life like some mythical unicorn.”
While Taissa doesn’t know if she will return for American Horror Story’s upcoming fifth season, she has no shortage of projects on her plate. She recently premiered two buzzy new movies - The Final Girls and 6 Years - at Austin’s SXSW Film Festival. She’s been shooting non-stop for the ABC drama pilot L.A. Crime with Erika Christensen. And Taissa has two other films in the can - Warren Beatty’s Howard Hughes-based romantic drama and a western called In a Valley of Violence with Ethan Hawke and John Travolta.
“The fact that she’s flourishing in her career is just a known certainty,” Vera adds. “She’s always had an attack approach of thriving, when kids her age were just trying to survive, all to do with her innate compassion and passion and fearlessness. One glance into her luminous hazel eyes, and you know her goodness, her honesty, her kindness. I am so proud and in awe of my lil’ sister, but not so much that I still won’t poke her in the ribs with straws.” ■Just Jared: Can fans expect to see you in future seasons of American Horror Story?
Taissa Farmiga: Well, season four just ended. So I'm hoping the fans will be able see me in the next season of American Horror Story, but we'll see. No promises.JJ: What's your favorite scene that you've shot on the show?
TF: My favorite scene that I've shot, the most recent one, was on Coven, when I got to be impaled onto the wall. I got to sit there for like an hour on this awesome rig and just be leaning on the wall. And it was pretty fun, blood, guts, it was great.JJ: Do you have a favorite prop from set?
TF: My favorite prop from American Horror Story is probably the witch hat. It just fits me, and I love it. I love tipping it down so you can't see me, but I can flirt with the eyes. It's my favorite prop.
TF: My character in The Final Girls is 18-year-old Max. She's kind of like this 90's chick. She's got her Doc Martens and flannel, and she's dealing with the death of her mom. So two years have passed and she gets sucked into her mom's famous horror movie.
My celebrity crush is probably Chris Pratt. But like Andy Dwyer, 'Parks and Rec' Chris Pratt.
TF: My favorite moments on the Final Girls set were with Nina and Alexander, they had a scare war going on. That lasted for months after shooting. Nina actually surprised Alexander, he was shooting in Ireland I guess, he was shooting Vikings. But on set, they were always trying to get our help, like, "Go distract him. I'm going to sneak around this tree." It was the best. It was really a blast.
TF: I play Mel, who is a college student, and she's been in a relationship for six years. So all through high school, she's been with the same boy, and she feels like she's a grown up because she's in a situation where it's almost like they're married, and how they act with each other. But 20-year-olds, they're rash, not fully emotionally developed, so she's learning to be that adult she really isn't yet.JJ: What article of clothing do you wear the most?
TF: My favorite article of clothing is this black fedora that I bought with my sister Vera. It's always on my head. It's got this maroon little strip around it. Sometimes Vera will put a feather, but that's not my thing.JJ: What are the last three things you charged on your credit card?
TF: The last three things I charged on my credit card were probably a plane ticket to LA, cough drops, and doctor's masks. Because I had the flu.JJ: What are the next two things you want to check off of your bucket list?
TF: I want to take a personal trip to Europe. I've only ever gone there for work. The second one is I want to hang out with Alexander Ludwig so he can take me bungee jumping.
TF: My recent celebrity crush is probably Chris Pratt. But like Andy Dwyer, Parks and Rec Chris Pratt. WOOOO! Okay, it's hot in here!JJ: Pick two celebrities to be your parents.
TF: If I was able to pick two celebrities as my parents, I would have to say [A Most Violent Year co-stars] Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain.JJ: Ryan Reynolds or Ryan Gosling?
TF: Ryan Gosling.JJ: Kanye West or Jay Z?
TF: Jay Z.JJ: Hugs or Kisses?
TF: Hugs.JJ: Facial hair or clean shaven?
TF: Facial hair.JJ: Star Wars or Star Trek?
TF: Star Wars.JJ: Bath or shower?
Behind The Scenes: Beauty Feature
Makeup artist Paul Blanch wanted to create a modern sultry look for Taissa to accentuate her eyes and give her beautiful blowy skin. First, he prepped the eye with a MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Highlighter pen in “light boost” to correct tone and give a bare canvas to work on. Then he used a MAC #217 brush to blend MAC’s Pro Longwear Paint Pot in “groundwork” over the outer of her eye to create the base of her smokey eye. Next, MAC’s Eye Shadow in “wedge” was blended on top.
Now, focusing on the lash line, Paul used MAC’s Technakohl Eye Liner in “graphblack” applied under the top lash line and smudged throughout lashes. He then applied the same brand’s Zoom Fast Black Lash Mascara to individual lashes to extend out Taissa’s lash line. Stila’s Stay All Day liquid eyeliner was than used to create a defined winged eye line and finally Kevyn Aucoin’s brow pencil in “ash blonde” was used to create the soft, yet well defined brow.
To treat the skin and complexion, Paul started by prepping Taissa’s skin with MAC’s Softening Lotion followed by the brand’s Prep + Prime Fix + hydrating mist pressed into the skin with a beauty blender. He used a beauty blender because it really helps to work the product into the skin. A well hydrated and plump complexion will always set the tone for great makeup. Once the skin was prepped for a base, he used MAC’s Face + Body Lotion to create a youthful glowy skin and then MAC’s Pro Longwear Concealer to build up any areas that may require more coverage.
In order to achieve the lip, Paul used MAC’s lip conditioner as the base, followed with MAC’s Cream Colour Base in “pearl” in the center of the lip to add fullness to Taissa’s pout. Next, MAC’s Boldly Bare Lipliner was used to define the lips naturally and the same brand’s Cremesheen Glass Lip Gloss in “fashion scoop” was used to add smooth shine.
Hair stylist Sascha Breuer went for the boho, beachy waves look and wanted to re-create a texture that looked shiny, salty, semi-wet, and free. He started out by using Wella Ocean Spritz Beach Texture Hairspray to diffuse the dry hair and enhance as much of the natural texture and movement as possible. If your hair is poker straight, Sascha suggests to use a medium-sized curling iron to create soft but uncontrolled looking curls by wrapping, twisting and rolling individual sized sections around the iron in different directions. Once finished, spray generously with hairspray to increase the hold.
Next, Sascha used Wella Oil Reflections to add loads of shine and a slight wet feel without getting the hair looking greasy. He completed the look by shaking the hair and using his fingers to define single strands and create the loose wind blown beach hair feel.