Who is Julia Garner, actress picked to play Madonna in biopic?

Julia Garner, who appears in Netflix crime drama series Ozark and will play Madonna in a biopic of the pop diva.
PHOTO: Instagram/juliagarnerofficial

Julia Garner, star of Netflix series Ozark and also known for her turn as the high society scammer Anna Sorokin in Inventing Anna, has reportedly been approached to play Madonna in a biopic of the pop diva.

Madonna, who will direct the film, is said to have approved of Garner's casting after a "gruelling" audition process; among the other actresses considered for the role were British actress Florence Pugh, Euphoria 's Alexa Demie and Australian actress Odessa Young, according to Variety .

Like the multi-talented Madonna, you "have to be able to do everything", one person familiar with the audition process told The Hollywood Reporter .

So who is Julia Garner?

For starters, she is not related to Hollywood star Jennifer Garner. The 28-year-old American actress and model was born and raised in Riverdale, New York.

Her mother, Tami Gingold, currently a therapist, was a successful comedian on the Israeli edition of Saturday Night Live. Her father, Thomas Garner, is a painter and art teacher. Her sister also followed a creative career path as a writer, producer and artist.

Madonna in the Material Girl music video.
PHOTO: Screengrab/YouTube/Madonna

In her early teenage years, Garner decided to take acting classes to overcome her shy nature, as well as to keep herself busy. "I really liked how it felt," she has said.

At the age of 15, Garner worked on student films at Columbia University, during which she connected with someone who was interning at an office for casting director Susan Shopmaker. That led to her landing her first leading role in the 2012 film Electrick Children .

Since then, she has starred in several films and television shows, including We Are What We Are (2013), The Last Exorcism Part II (2013), Grandma (2015) and Dirty John (2018-2020).

PHOTO: Instagram/juliagarnerofficial

But it is her portrayal of Ruth Langmore in Netflix Originals crime drama series Ozark, beginning in 2017, that brought Garner widespread attention. She won consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards for outstanding supporting actress in 2019 and 2020 for playing Ruth.

In 2019, she won acclaim for her leading role in The Assistant, a film in which she plays an assistant to a powerful entertainment mogul who becomes aware of abuse in the industry and takes a stand against it.

It was playing Anna Delvey in Inventing Anna — a real-life story based on fake German heiress Anna Sorokin, who was jailed in 2019 after single-handedly conning New York socialites — that made Garner an international name.

Julia Garner plays the con artist Anna Sorokin, better known as Anna Delvey, in the Netflix series Inventing Anna, created by Shonda Rhimes.
PHOTO: Netflix

Little is known as yet about the "visual autobiography" of Madonna, including its release date, although the singer did memorably tell The Guardian: "Why would Universal Studios want to make a movie about me based on a script that is all lies???"

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.