In Hollywood, there’s no short of rising stars. So when Julia Garner first graced our screens in indie film Martha Marcy May Marlene we knew she was destined for an incredible acting career.
With her one of her newest films The Last Exorcism Part II out on DVD/Blu-ray on September 30th, we take a look at her rise to stardom.
Julia Garner was born in February 1st 1994 in Riverdale, New York to therapist Tami Gingold (who used to be a famous comedian in Israel) and her art teacher father.
At the tender age of 15, Garner started taking acting lessons to overcome her shy nature. She started doing student films at Columbia grad school, where she started appearing in short films like One Thousand Cranes, The Dreamer and Mac & Cheese.
Shortly after she heard through a friend about an open call casting by casting director Susan Shopmaker for Sean Durkin’s award winning film Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011).
After auditioning she won the role of Sarah, a vulnerable young cultist and started working alongside a strong cast including Elizabeth Olsen, Brady Corbet, John Hawkes, Hugh Dancy and Sarah Paulson. This was Garner’s first feature film performance and luckily for us, this wasn’t the last we saw of her.
After her captivating performance in Martha Marcy May Marlene, Garner taped her audition for the lead role in Rebecca Thomas’s Electrick Children after hearing that they were struggling to cast the lead role.
Garner won over casting directors and came in a week before the project was due to start shooting in Utah. She plays Rachel, a 15-year-old naive fundamentalist Mormon who believes she has an immaculate conception after listening to a Blondie cover band.
This coming of age film sees Rachel escape her parent’s plans (Billy Zane and Cynthia Watros) of an arranged marriage to flee to Las Vegas with her brother (Liam Aiken) in search of the voice from the tape, and father of her unborn child.
There they meet young rocker Clyde (Rory Culkin) who begins to change the way they see the world. Both Garner and co-star Culkin give outstanding performances, with Garner stating in interviews that she really studied up on Mormo nism in order to give a real and believable performance (which gave way to her winning best actress in the Bombay International and Buster International Children’s festival in 2012)
Three months after her success in Electrick Children, Garner landed a small role in award-winning film The Perks of Being a Wallflower, where she starred alongside Emma Watson, Paul Rudd, Dylan McDermott, Johnny Simmons and Logan Lermen.
Garner was also invited by David Chase to play ‘girl in car’ in Not Fade Away, a scene that Chase wrote specifically for her.
At the beginning of the year, Jim Mickle’s We Are What We Are, premiered at Sundance festival and in the Director’s fortnight at Cannes.
The horror film, which was Garner next starring role, is a remake of the 2010 Mexican version that follows a reclusive family of cannibals who are trying to keep their ancient tradition of eating people a secret without the locals finding out. You can catch Garner’s haunting performance in the UK on 25th October.
Whilst successfully continuing to take on roles in thrillers and horrors, Garner was cast in director Ed Gass-Donnelly and producer Eli Roth’s The Last Exorcism Part II alongside Ashley Bell, Spencer Treat Clark and Muse Watson. She plays Gwen, one of the girls in the group home that Nell Sweetzer is placed in following the events in the first film (2010).
With an already impressive list of movies behind her, the 19-year-old starlet shows no signs of slowing down.
She’s just finished filming scenes for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (with an all-star cast such as Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Eva Green and Jessica Alba - to name a few), which will hit UK cinemas summer 2014. She’s also set to appear in You Can’t Win (2013), HairBrained (2013) and Unicorns (2014).
Not only is everyone captivated by Garner’s beauty and cute tight curled hair, but her ability to become the character she’s playing with such ease and the fact that she’s been a number of hit films since joining the acting scene only two years ago tells us that she’s destined for great things.
Catch Julia’s performance in The Last Exorcism Part II, out on DVD/Blu-ray from September 30th!