Vera Ann Farmiga (/fɑrˈmiːɡə/; born August 6, 1973) is an American actress and film director. Farmiga made her feature film debut in the 1998 drama-thriller Return to Paradise. This was followed by the supporting role of Lisa Tyler in the 2000 romantic drama film Autumn in New York, and Alex Cross in the 2001 television series UC: Undercover. In 2001, she was also cast as Daphne Handlova in the crime-thriller 15 Minutes. In 2004, she received critical praise for her portrayal of Irene, a woman trying to balance marriage and motherhood while harboring a secret drug habit, in the independent film Down to the Bone. Her other film credits include the 2003 comedy Dummy, the 2004 drama Iron Jawed Angels, the 2006 crime-thriller The Departed, the 2007 horror Joshua, and the 2008 drama-thriller Nothing But the Truth.