Vera Ann Farmiga (fɑrˈmiːɡə; born August 6, 1973) is an American actress, director and producer. She began her career on Broadway in the play Taking Sides (1996). She made her television debut in the Fox fantasy series Roar (1997), and her film debut in the drama-thriller Return to Paradise (1998). Farmiga's breakout role came in 2004, when she portrayed a mother harboring a secret drug habit in the drama film Down to the Bone. She then co-starred in The Manchurian Candidate (2004), The Departed (2006), The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008), and Nothing But the Truth (2008). She gained more critical acclaim for her role as Alex Goran in the 2009 comedy-drama Up in the Air, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress. She then had starring roles in Orphan (2009), Source Code (2011), and Safe House (2012). Farmiga made her directorial debut with the drama film Higher Ground (2011), in which she also starred in the lead role. In 2013, she portrayed paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren in the horror film The Conjuring, and reprised the role in the 2016 sequel The Conjuring 2. From 2013 to 2017, Farmiga starred as Norma Louise Bates in the A&E drama-thriller series Bates Motel, for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. This role, along with her roles in Joshua, Orphan, and the two Conjuring films, has dubbed her as a contemporary scream queen.