Vera Farmiga radiates exactly the sort of thoughtful introspection that permeates her directorial debut, HIGHER GROUND. When we spoke on August 19, 2011, the first thing I wanted to discuss were the pitfalls of making a mainstream film about religious faith when there are so many pitfalls involved. With quiet intensity, and a lovely sense of humor, she talked about that, as well as colloborating with Carolyn S. Briggs about bringing the latter’s autobiography, This Dark World, to the screen, and why faith, religious or not, is important.
The film, Farmiga’s directorial debut, is a story about love, faith, and religion in which Farmiga plays Corinne Walker, a woman who has for many years found strength, joy, and beauty in her religious faith, but slowly comes to realize that the very faith she has made the center of her life is slipping away, talking with it her peace, and possibly her marriage. The film co-stars Joshua Leonard, John Hawkes, Bill Irwin Dagmara Dominczyk, Boyd Holbrook, Donna Murphy, Nina Arianda, Sean Mahon, and Taissa Farmiga. It’s based on the book, THIS DARK WORLD by Carolyn S. Briggs. Farmiga’s previous work includes an oscar-nominated performance in UP IN THE AIR, as well as stunning turns in THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS, NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, and the deeply moving NEVER FOREVER.