TV Article

Taissa & Vera Farmiga

The sisters discuss their roles in FX's ''American Horror Story: Coven''

We're guessing Halloween was a popular holiday in the Farmigas' New Jersey household. Sisters Vera and Taissa, who have five(!) other siblings, both gave arresting, compelling performances on two of the creepiest series of the year, A&E's Bates Motel and FX's American Horror Story: Coven, respectively. Playing Norman Bates' waaaaaay-too-attached mother, Norma, on the Psycho prequel, Vera turned what could have been a one-note crazy-mama character into a deeply disturbed but overall sympathetic woman. "She's just this holy-grail cocktail of madness," says the 40-year-old actress. She adds: "Because it's such a challenge, because she's so all over the place, because she's so ridden with contradiction, it's so much fun to play. I understand that she's incredibly flawed, but there are aspects to her character that are so beautiful to me. She has this disarming honesty, as much of a liar as she is. "

Taissa is equally fearless playing her Coven character, Zoe, a teenager coping with her new identity as a witch with a killer vagina (beware, would-be suitors!). Zoe is by turns naive, flirtatious, and, ultimately, badass. "It's just being a part of something special — you're willing to do it," says the 19-year-old of signing up for the wild role, which AHS creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk wrote for her. Having a sister who can understand what it's like to exist in a heightened horror world definitely helps. Says Taissa: "Once in a while [Vera will] text me and tell me what's going on on-set [at Motel] or send me a picture. I'm like, 'Girl, I know what you're talking about. I got you.'"

Originally posted Dec 20, 2013 Published in issue #1291-1292 Dec 27, 2013 Order article reprints
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