This morning, I had the great pleasure of chatting for about 25 minutes over the phone with Vera Farmiga, one of the most unusually talented (the New York Times has likened her to Meryl Streep) and unconventionally sexy (her exotic looks, melodic voice, and unmistakable confidence are all very European) movie stars working today.
The 38-year-old Ukrainian-American is best known for playing love interests in big studio pics, such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon’s in Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed” (2006) and of George Clooney’s in Jason Reitman’s “Up in the Air” (2009), but she has particularly shone in little-seen indies, such as Debra Granik’s “Down to the Bone” (2004), for which she won best actress awards from the Sundance Film Festival and Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and Rod Lurie’s “Nothing But the Truth” (2008), for which she received a best supporting actress nod from the Broadcast Film Critics Association.
Now, she has now directed a film of her own for the first time: “Higher Ground” (Sony Pictures Classics, 8/26, R, trailer), a low-budget drama about religious faith and doubt, in which she also plays the lead character. The film premiered at Sundance in January, played at Tribeca in April, and will open in select theaters later this month.
We discussed all of the above, and more, earlier today.
Photo: Vera Farmiga in “Higher Ground.” Credit: Sony Pictures Classics.