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Celeb Alumna Spotlight: Vera Farmiga

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Syracuse chapter.

Vera Farmiga has become one of the biggest names in Hollywood, and she has Syracuse University to thank. When she was younger, Farmiga wanted to be an ophthalmologist, but quickly changed her mind after attending SU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA). Her latest blockbusters include The Departed, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Up in the Air, Orphan, and the 2011 movie, Source Code.
After attending VPA, Farmiga made her Broadway debut in Taking Sides, as an understudy. She then went on to a short stint in television, playing a role in the Australian series “Roar”, alongside Heath Ledger. After television, Farmiga starred in several independent movies from 2002-2008, gaining great reviews along the way. Her big break came after starring in Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed”, in which she was a police psychiatrist and the romantic interest for both Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon. But, Vera Farmiga didn’t become a household name until 2009’s “Up in the Air”, in which she starred in opposite George Clooney and Anna Kendrick. She even received an Oscar Nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film.
Farmiga’s rise to success shows that hard work and determination definitely pays off. It also shows that it’s sometimes a great idea to change your dreams and majors once you’re in university. A piece of advice for future actors: instead of attending auditions for films that you’re interested in, follow Farmiga’s lead. She makes a mini-home movie of the character she wants to play, having a friend read lines with her. “They always resulted in a meeting – a flight over to Los Angeles to meet the director. Even if at the end of it all I didn’t get the role, it would be fine because I already executed it in my own living-room,” Farmiga said in an interview with the Telegraph. So keep at it future SU actors – and then come back so we can write Campus Celebs about you!

Michelle Wong is a senior public relations and entrepreneurship dual major at Syracuse University. At SU, she's a member of the student PR firm, Hill Communications, a contributing writer at A-Line Magazine, an ambassador to both her schools (business and communications), and is often flitting around, as busy as a bee. She went abroad to London in the Fall of 2010, and has been wanting to move there ever since. In her free time, Michelle watches way too much television, and can probably carry on a conversation about any primetime television show aired since 1990. Her favorites that are currently airing include: New Girl, Awkward., Criminal Minds, Prime Suspect, The Mentalist, The X-Factor (US & UK), Law & Order: SVU, Free Agents, Revenge, Breaking Bad, Warehouse 13, Eureka, Downtown Abbey, The Hour, and about 20 other shows. If you ever need a recommendation for a show, you can contact her anytime. She's also ridiculously excited about Smash, Awake, Scandal, and tons of other yet-to-be-aired shows. Michelle is also addicted to Starbucks, greek yoghurt and fruit, Sarah Dessen and Sophia Kinsella novels, and Twinings Tea.