Vera Farmiga and her family moved to Whitehouse Station when she was 12 years old, and she graduated from Hunterdon Central High School in 1991. During her junior year there, she found acting after being benched during a soccer game. A friend persuaded her to audition for a high school production of The Vampire, in which she won a leading role. For college, Farmiga attended Syracuse University and studied theater there. In her final year, she portrayed ‘Nina Zarechnaya’ in The Seagull at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, and the production won the top prize in the competition in large part due to her performance.
Over the years, she has co-starred in films with many Hollywood legends including Christopher Walken, Robert De Niro, Vince Vaughn, Denzel Washington, and Meryl Streep. Representative roles include police psychiatrist Dr. Madolyn Madden in The Departed (2006), directed by Martin Scorsese, where she appeared with Academy Award winners Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Matt Damon.
Farmiga co-starred as frequent flyer Alex Goran, opposite George Clooney, in Up in the Air (2009). She received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress.