We talk to Vera Farmiga about working with Clooney, living far away from Hollywood and about sometimes wanting to give it all up to become a shepherdess.
BY SARI ANNE TUSCHMAN
You live in the country; you raise goats. Was it an intentional decision to live so far away from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood?
I’m at a place in my career now where I don’t have to be in the thick of it. I think I’ve done enough films that people are familiar with my work and they see my potential, so jobs are offered. I can really move anywhere I want. I’m in upstate New York, and honestly, it just gives me perspective on everything. It’s a steady vantage point where I can see the industry and have at the same time a gorgeous view of the beautiful arch of the sky. And that’s where I find my answers. I just retreat to my own personal goat-ville, and I breathe deep. It’s as simple as that.
How many goats do you have?
Just four. People around here read these anecdotes about goats, and they don’t know what the big deal is. Where I live everybody has goats. Really, I’m not a shepherdess. But when things get feisty, and I feel my career is less art and more business, then I sincerely think about just buying a staff and herding.
What do you enjoy about Los Angeles?
I associate it with the recognition of my career. I come to LA for premieres, press conferences and awards ceremonies, so it’s a very celebratory place for me. I’ll tell you precisely what I love about LA: I love seeing things bloom in January. I love 80-degree days in the winter and the smell of night-blooming jasmine. I love the city against the wild—the howl of coyotes and 200-pound mountain lions in the middle of the night.
Of course I have to ask how it was going to work every day with George Clooney.
The most attractive thing about George is his sense of humor. You’re going to work with the biggest goofball you’ve ever met, someone who is a prankster. He’s whimsical; he’s warm; he’s adorable, and he’s so lighthearted and childlike that it’s precious. It’s wonderful to be around him. His spirit is infectious. And it’s play, not work. I should have paid them.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JEFF VESPA
Makeup by Jillian Dempsey for The Wall Group
Hair by Jonathan Hanousek for Exclusive Artists Management