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Vera Farmiga in … A Role (and a Pierogi) of One’s Own

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Vera Farmiga in Higher Ground.  

Fynn appears in Higher Ground, playing the main character’s child. The whole ­movie is a family affair. Farmiga’s husband, Renn Hawkey, 37, a onetime keyboardist in Deadsy, a band fronted by Cher and Gregg Allman’s son Elijah Blue Allman, is its musical director and one of its producers. Farmiga’s youngest sister, Taissa (who is 21 years younger than Vera, in a family of seven children), plays the protagonist as a teen. And Farmiga’s mother and grandmother appear as extras. Between pierogi four and five, there may have been mention of a sister-in-law.

Farmiga eats every morsel on her plate. Because I have been keeping an eye on my notes, I leave behind half a pierogi when the waitress comes to bus the table.

“You are so not Ukrainian,” Farmiga says. “You would have eaten that last bit. We’re always lookin’ over our shoulder for Stalin. You can see I’m in the clean-plate club.”

Outside, in the soupy afternoon air, a white GMC SUV waits at the curb. Farmiga’s husband is at the wheel. He has a full mustache and beard, dirty blond. The kids are in back, strapped into car seats. The baby shows off a new tooth on her lower gum.

Farmiga climbs in on the passenger side. It’s time for her to head back to ­Ulster County. Back to the goats and the pile of lousy scripts.


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