The ability of an actor to accurately give life to the character they portray is what differentiates the best in the business from others. Usually, because of how good an actor is in bringing a role to life, there have been numerous cases of them being typecast. This happens for stereotypical roles in most cases, however, there are other times when the actor just lands that particular role because they have perfectly executed it in the past. This is exactly the case for Fairuza Balk, who is considered by many movie watchers to be a real-life witch due to her believable portrayal of dark and edgy roles over the years.
In addition to her perfectly playing dark and edgy roles in movies like The Worst Witch and The Craft in the 80s and 90s, Fairuza has also impressed many as a musician and voice over artist. In recent times, however, not much has been heard from the actress who comes from a family of free-spirited artists.
Who is Fairuza Balk?
Fairuza Balk was born Fairuza Alejandra Feldthouse on the 21st of May, 1974 in Point Reyes, California. Her parents are father Solomon Feldthouse who is of Romani and Cherokee descent and mother Cathryn Falk who has Irish and French ancestry.
Because Balk’s father was a traveling folk musician, the young girl was raised by just her mother who studied, performed and taught traditional dance forms from different countries around the world. The duo lived in Cloverdale, California until Fairuza was about 2 years of age and they moved to Vancouver, British Columbia.
It was in Canada that Fairuza Balk began her acting career as a child. The mother-daughter duo would then go ahead to visit different cities in Europe, first London, England and then Paris, France where Fairuza continued to hone her craft before they would later return to Vancouver. Later on in life, after completing her high school education in Vancouver, Balk moved back to her birthplace of California to fully pursue her acting career in Hollywood.
Fairuza Balk’s Fact Card
Highlights Of Her Career Achievements
As earlier stated, Fairuza Balk began her acting career as a child. She made her acting debut in 1983 at the age of nine when she featured in the television film, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Her most notable performance as a child actress was in 1985 when she got cast by Walt Disney Productions to appear in Return to Oz as Dorothy Gale. Her sterling performance in the role earned her a Saturn Award nomination for Best Performance by a Younger Actor.
Fairuza’s role as Dorothy Gale heralded her career as an actress as she began to get several major and minor acting roles. She featured in The Worst Witch in 1986 before appearing in the 1989 French-American drama film, Valmont. Other notable movies and TV series she appeared in as a teenager include Deadly Intentions… Again? (1991) and Gas Food Lodging (1992) where her performance earned her an Independent Spirit Award for the best female lead.
After moving to Hollywood in the mid-1990s, Fairuza Balk played the lead role of Nancy Downs in The Craft (1996). She earned an MTV Movie Award for Best Fight alongside Robin Tunney and received a Saturn Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Following her depiction of the Nancy Downs character who was a witch, Fairuza began to appear in mostly dark roles. At one point in time, she was even accused of being a real-life witch due to the wealth of knowledge she commands about witchcraft. The actress took all the allegations on the chin for about two decades before coming out to address them, revealing that she did a lot of research to learn about the roles.
As the years went by, Fairuza Balk has worked as a voice-over artist, lending her voice to several animation films and video games. She has also followed in the footsteps of her father to do some singing and songwriting. She spent some time as a member of the band G-13 before getting to release her own songs from her musical outlet, Armed Love Militia, in the 2010s. Balk has collaborated with several artists, including Mel Sanson, Camille Rose Garcia, and Jessicka Addams among several others.
Why Her Time On-Screen Has Reduced In Recent Years
According to Fairuza Balk, one of the major challenges she has faced in her career is being cast in the stereotypical dark or edgy roles. As much as she has loved portraying these characters, she admits that it not necessarily all she wants to do. She has also admitted that she struggled with being pushed too hard in her 20s as people kept telling her to keep taking more movies to stay relevant in Hollywood.
It is obvious that Fairuza has chosen to slow down on the acting front as she only takes on roles that interest her and are different from what she has been known for. One of her more recent roles that is quite different is her recurring role as Ginger in Ray Donovan.
Outside of acting, Fairuza can be seen trying to make strides in her music career. She has released a series of EPs over the years and has openly spoken about her music career.
Sharing my music has been a very interesting experience especially this last 3 song EP because it’s SO personal. It’s exposing your soul, your true inner heart. Thank you for your support in making it all possible
— Fairuza Balk (@fairuza) November 22, 2019
The entertainer has further admitted that she likes the mystery that comes with her many talents as fans continue to guess and speculate what she will do next. She has, however, pledged to not slow down and continue to explore her careers in acting and music.