Last night was the series premiere of Ryan Murphy‘s American Horror Story, which follows the Harmon family as they try to rebuild their lives in a spooky house in Los Angeles. Although Murphy cast the well-known actors Connie Britton and Dylan McDermott as the parents, the actress playing their teenage daughter is a relative unknown: 17-year-old Taissa Farmiga. That surname sounds familiar, huh? Read on for five facts about this young star.
1. From the name and the looks, you would assume that Taissa is actress Vera Farmiga‘s daughter—but she’s actually her younger sister. Though there’s 21 years between them, Taissa was born to the same parents.
2. She never wanted to be an actor. “Acting had always been Vera’s thing, not mine,” she’s said in interviews. “But when we were at Sundance, I decided I officially loved acting.”
3. Taissa may be the youngest of seven, but she and Vera (the second oldest) consider each other their best friends. For Taissa’s profile in a recent issue of Teen Vogue, Vera told the magazine, “Taissa is the person you take with you to choose your Oscar gown and then take to In-N-Out Burger. As much of an age difference as there is, she is one of my best friends in the world.”
4. Her first film role was in Vera’s directorial debut, the religious drama Higher Ground. Taissa played the younger version of Vera’s character Corinne: An awkward young woman who gets pregnant at 18 and joins a radical New Testament church. In interviews, Vera made it sound like her sister helped her out: “She had to do it. I texted her and said, ‘I need a favor.’ I promised her she could have my pickup truck.”
5. After just the pilot, her moody character Violet seems to be much loved among viewers. If you search for Taissa on Tumblr, you find multiple variations on this .gif: