Although Farmiga initially planned to become an accountant, she was persuaded to appear in her sister Vera Farmiga's directorial debut drama Higher Ground, playing the 16-year-old version of the lead character Corinne Walker. Shortly after its premiere at the 2011 Sundance, and following rave reviews for her performance, she was signed to talent agency ICM Partners. That same year, Farmiga starred in the first season of FX's anthology series American Horror Story, launching her to worldwide prominence. She portrayed Violet Harmon in American Horror Story: Murder House, the troubled adolescent daughter of Vivien (Connie Britton) and Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott) – a role she secured in her first professional acting audition. Farmiga then joined the cast of Sofia Coppola's crime satire The Bling Ring, based on the real life group of the same name, portraying 17-year-old wild child Sam Moore. The film opened in Un Certain Regard at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, to generally positive reviews.